Varsity Kansas

6A baseball: SM East run-rules West in quarterfinals

Shawnee Mission East’s Clayton Phillips slides home safely as West’s Jose Salas awaits the throw in the Pioneers’ 11-1 loss in the Class 6A quarterfinals Friday in Lawrence.
Shawnee Mission East’s Clayton Phillips slides home safely as West’s Jose Salas awaits the throw in the Pioneers’ 11-1 loss in the Class 6A quarterfinals Friday in Lawrence. The Wichita Eagle

For 31/2 innings Friday, upset-minded West had Class 6A baseball power Shawnee Mission East thinking its season might be in jeopardy.

After Pioneers senior David Kelly stole second and third, then scored on a groundout in the fourth inning, the Pioneers trailed 2-1 and momentum seemed to be on West’s side.

But SM East erupted for three runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, crushing West’s hopes of an upset and ending West’s season, 11-1 in six innings in a Class 6A quarterfinal at Hoglund Ballpark.

West (16-7) had runners on second and third with one out in the first inning, but two excellent defensive plays by SM East on consecutive plays ended with Pioneers being thrown out at the plate. The Pioneers had three of its four hits in the first.

West played without coach Jeff Hoover and ace pitcher Colby Pechin. Both were suspended for one game by the Kansas State High School Activities Association after Pechin threw 10 innings – one more than the association’s daily limit for baseball – in a regional final.

West principal Joel Hudson prevented reporters from access to Pioneers coaches and players following the game.

“We’re not speaking to the media,” he said.

Joe Wentz launched a double to deep left field to put SM East ahead 2-0 in the third inning. Clayton Phillips’ two-run single highlighted the Lancers’ three-run fourth, and Henry Churchill belted an RBI triple in the fifth before ripping a two-run single in the sixth.

Jose Salas finished 2 for 3 with a double to pace West, with Trevor Veltman and Kelly also recording hits.

W. West 000 100 1 4 3
SM East 101 333 11 11 0

W – Vermillion. L – Veltman.

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