Varsity Baseball

Moment of the Year: Campus silences doubters with third-place baseball finish

Campus' Mateo Martinez helped the Colts to a third-place finish at the 2018 Class 6A baseball tournament.
Campus' Mateo Martinez helped the Colts to a third-place finish at the 2018 Class 6A baseball tournament. Courtesy of Campus Athletics

Varsity Kansas has introduced a new series, Moment of the Year. The series will highlight the top moment or performance from the 2017-18 high school sports season for each of the Wichita-area schools. And now, the Campus Colts.

One of Kansas' best baseball teams was one of its most mediocre just 12 months ago.

In 2017, Campus finished sixth out of seven teams in AVCTL I with one league win and six overall. This season, the Colts won six more league games and 10 more overall, including one in the Class 6A tournament that led to a third-place finish in Class 6A.

Campus entered the state tournament as the No. 5 seed and beat No. 4 Free State 10-6 in the quarterfinals.

The Colts sent Tanner Leslie, a sophomore All-State second team selection, to the mound for the start and got rattled early. Free State led 3-2 through four innings, but Campus stampeded back.

Campus scored eight runs in the top of the eighth. Back-to-back-to-back Free State errors handed the Colts three runs, and they ran with it.

Cayden Ysidro slapped a double to center and drove in two more. A batter later, Corey Hahn singled to center and scored another.

A win in the state tournament seemed a far-off wish based on the 2017 results. Even the players said as much.

Campus lost both games of its season-opening doubleheader against Eisenhower, and All-Metro selection Mateo Martinez said he was worried about the direction of the team.

Fellow All-Metro player Jackson Hartley said coach Bryan Clasen continued to tell them they would get over the hump, and soon they changed their practices and mentality. The results followed.

After the Eisenhower losses, Campus won nine of its next 10, including seven straight and a sweep of eventual state champion Arkansas City.

The Colts will return four of its five All-State selections, including both of their All-Metro players. Campus will be one of the favorites in the Wichita area heading into the 2019 season of ambitions beyond a third-place finish.

Other key moments

  • Campus' girls bowling team wins the Class 6A state championship as Piper Reams takes home the individual title with a 600-pin series.
  • The Colts beat long-time Kansas powerhouse Hutchinson 57-24 in the 6A playoffs to clinch a regional title. Campus finished the season 5-5.
  • Senior Federico Harvey wins back-to-back 6A triple jump titles with a 47-foot leap.
  • Campus' boys track and field team finishes third in 6A at the Kansas state meet. Six Colts individuals or relay teams finish in the top five.
  • Kale McCracken (106 pounds) and Brycen Schroeder (170) take runner-up finishes at the 6A wrestling tournament.

Read other schools' moments