Holton baseball has strong tournament run in KC
It may not have ended the way the Wildcats wanted, but even a loss in the championship game couldn’t take away the great deal of success the team had in the Butch Foster Memorial Classic baseball tournament in Kansas City over the weekend.
Even in the final game, Holton was cruising along against a tough Paola squad and held a 3-0 lead at one point. The Wildcats just couldn’t quite hang on to that momentum in an eventual 7-3 loss to the Panthers.
After a relatively quiet start, HHS broke the game open in the bottom of the third inning as Jordan Booth and Brady Mulroy reached on back-to-back errors to start things off. Indie Allen followed with a single to load up the bases and Derek Haverkamp then reached on an error to score one run.
Mulroy scored on a passed ball after that and Justin Pool then drew a walk to load the bases back up, still with no outs. Luis Butto drew a bases-loaded walk after that to bring in another run and give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.
This all happened with no outs and while the first two of the inning were quickly recorded after that, Holton still had a chance to add to that with Justin Rieschick at the plate. It appeared Rieschick was hit by a pitch in his at-bat, but HHS coach Purcell noted the home plate umpire ruled he intentionally turned into it allowing the at-bat to continue and eventually end in a fly ball out.
“I thought that was probably the change in the game,” Purcell said. “From that point on, they had the momentum and we struggled to get it back.”
The Panthers got two runs back on a pair of errors in the top of the fourth inning to close the gap and make it a 3-2 ball game.
After Holton went down in order in the following two innings, Paola struck again in the top of the sixth.
Despite two leadoff walks and a single, it looked like Rieschick would get out of the jam on the mound after recording the second out right after the Panthers loaded up the bases.
That was not the case, though, as Paola got an RBI single in the next at-bat to tie the game and an error on the play compounded the issue and added two more runs for the Panthers. Another error before the final out gave Paola a 6-3 lead and it added an RBI double in the seventh inning for the final 7-3 margin of victory.
Holton went down in order for the fourth inning in a row after that and while it was a sour note to end on in a completely winnable game, Purcell still noted a lot of good came out of the tournament in which the Wildcats finished runner-up.
“I think one of the huge things is that our kids kind of came together a little bit. It became a team thing instead of a me thing and I think they understand now that they are a good team,” Purcell said. “I think they get it now. They understand that if they focus and they play well, they can play with anybody.”
Now, HHS will have a few days off before the team hits the road again for its final league doubleheader in Wathena. Holton (7-10) will take on Riverside on Thursday with games starting at 4:30 p.m.
P: HHS- Rieschick, Bain and Pool; Paola- Johnson, Jensen and T. Boehm.
2B: Paola- McDow and A. Boehm (2).
SB: Paola- McDow.
In the semifinals of the tournament on Friday, Holton got a chance at some revenge and took full advantage as the team had a rematch with Perry-Lecompton after playing the Kaws in a pair of league games last Monday.
This time around, the Wildcats flipped the script on the Kaws and were able to pull off a 10-4 victory, despite falling behind 2-0 early.
“We executed. We didn’t kill ourselves. We didn’t make any horrible mistakes. We didn’t have a bad inning. We just played a nice game and played up to our capability,” Purcell said.
Perry got an RBI single and sacrifice fly to take that early lead, but Holton quickly knotted things up in the fourth inning as Mulroy slapped a leadoff single and then came in to score on Haverkamp’s RBI double, who then scored two batters later on Luis Butto’s RBI single.
Haverkamp was also strong on the mound for Holton, retiring the Kaws in order in the following half inning, and then the offense really got going in the top of the fifth inning.
Levi Martin drew a walk to start things off and Rieschick and Booth had back-to-back singles to load up the bases. An error then put Mulroy on and allowed a run to score, while Allen came through with an RBI single in the next at-bat to score two runs. Mulroy then scored on a passed ball to give HHS a 6-2 lead.
The Kaws quickly loaded up the bases in the bottom half of the inning and closed the gap to two runs, 6-4, thanks to a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly, but the well ran dry after that for Perry.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats put another big inning together in the top of the seventh to seal the victory and get a little payback.
Allen and Haverkamp had back-to-back singles to get things going and Pool then reached on an error to load the bases again. Butto followed with a two-RBI single and Levi Martin then hit into a fielder’s choice that scored one run. Booth capped off the offensive outburst with an RBI single and Haverkamp then pitched a perfect one, two, three seventh inning to wrap up the 10-4 victory.
P: HHS- Haverkamp and Pool; PL- Bond, Scrimsher and Fast.
2B: HHS- Rieschick and Haverkamp; PL- Pattin.
SB: HHS- Rieschick and Haverkamp; PL- Pattin, Daniels and Cunningham.