Fourth-inning rally puts MHS in semis

By Joel Jellison

LAWRENCE — Haysville-Campus held the Manhattan High baseball team at bay for the first three innings of Friday’s Class 6A tournament quarterfinal at Hoglund Ballpark.

But by the time the game entered into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Indians had seen enough.

MHS piled on six runs to break a 1-1 tie — cruising to win 9-1 victory and sending the Indians to the state semifinals for the first time since 2007.

Campus left the bases loaded in the first two innings without scoring a run.

The Indians scored first in the bottom of the second on an RBI groundout from Chris Turner.

The Colts answered in the top of the third with an RBI double from Colton Flax.

Derek Francis opened the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff double, Brooks DeBord hit an infield single, and Brooks Lindsay walked to load the bases.

Then the fireworks started.

Jake Priddle singled in one run, and then Turner doubled in two. Josh Mullin hit a two-run single to make it 6-1 and Taylor Hilgers scored on an error by the catcher to cap the big inning.

MHS coach Don Hess said it all started with the double from Francis, and then everyone wanted a piece of the action.

“Hitting is so contagious that when you get up there and some does something good, you want to duplicate the same thing,” he said. “We put some pressure on them defensively and we had some really good quality at-bats in a row.”

Josh Klug grounded out to score Craig Berry in the fifth inning, and Trey Francis hit an infield single that drove in Turner.

Derek Francis pitched six innings for the Indians and gave up just one run on three hits. He did walk a handful of batters and hit a few others, but Hess thought he performed well on the big stage.

“He kind of labored and ended up around 90 pitches or something, so it wasn’t his best outing, but Derek is out there because he is our best competitor,” he said. “Even when he is so-so on the mound, he gives you a lot better chance to win.”

Chris Klug finished the game on the mound in the seventh, facing four batters and allowing just an infield single on a tough ball down the third-base line.

MHS and Haysville met on Friday following a tournament-opening shocker when top-seed Maize was upset 1-0 by No. 8-seed Blue Valley North. potentially making the path a bit easier for the winner to advance to the state title game Saturday.

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