HHS Baseball qualifies for the Class 4A-DII state baseball tournament
The Holton High School baseball has qualified for the state tournament for the first time in the program’s 17-year history.
The Wildcats defeated Santa Fe Trail by the score of 3-0 yesterday and then beat KC Bishop Ward 6-1 to win the Class 4A-DII regional hosted by KC Bishop Ward at Community America Ballpark.
Santa Fe Trail finished its season with a 3-14 overall record, while KC Bishop Ward finished its season with a 3-13 overall record.
Jeff-West, a team that entered the regional with a 15-1 record, lost to KC Bishop Ward in the first round by the final score of 14-0 in five innings.
The regional champion Wildcats (6-16) will compete at the state tournament set for May 25-26 at the Emporia-Soden’s Grove Baseball Field located at 1000 S. Commercial St. in Emporia.
Other teams that have qualified for the Class 4A-DII baseball tournament include Baxter Springs (16-4), Rock Creek (19-0), Iola (16-4), Nickerson (19-3) and Clearwater (5-17).
“It was a pretty surreal moment,’’ said HHS head coach Joe Purcell about winning the regional. “I have pictured it in my mind a lot over the years and it was just about as I pictured it as we got the last out of the game.’’
Holton High established a baseball program in 2000 with Purcell as head coach and Don Brees as assistant coach. Ryan Noel joined the team as an assistant coach with Brees three seasons ago.
Coach Purcell said the team’s pitching has improved during the season and the Wildcats have been getting more quality at-bats.
He said he also credits the Wildcat senior players with welcoming and accepting freshmen players, who has been needed to contribute to the varsity team.
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