Manko Jr.’s top Junction City

By Brady Bauman

The American Legion Manhattan Manko Junior 17ers got back in the win column Wednesday night with a victory on the road at Junction City.

The 17ers won the first game 12-2 and were ahead 5-0 in the second inning of game two before lightning cut the night short.

Still, the first game goes into the books as Manko improved its record to 6-8.

“It’s good to get another “W” under our belt,” Manhattan head coach Dan Rumsey said. “We’ve been on the losing side recently, and it’s just good for the boys to get another win.”

Henry deNoble got the victory on the mound for Manko, pitching six innings and allowing just two runs — one earned — on three hits, five walks and six strikeouts. Eric Prockish closed the game for Mahattan in the seventh.

The offense was led by deNoble, who was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, while teammate Athen Martinez was 2-for-2 on the night with an RBI, three runs scored and a walk. Grant Herpich also had mutliple hits for Manhattan with a 2-for-4 outing that included two runs scored and a walk.

Manko began the game down 1-0 after the first, but responded in the top of the second.

Manhattan loaded the bases with the top of the order and a sacrifice fly by Garrett Francis tied the game. Martinez then got on base with a bunt-single and a miscue by the Junction City defense led to two more runs before the inning was over.

The Bluejays were taken out 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second and Manko took a 5-1 lead in the top of the third aided by a RBI by Sterling Shimp.

Junction City was able to add another run in the bottom of the third with a steal at home, but the Bluejays were shut out after that.

Manhattan added two more in the top of the sixth and went out with a bang in the top of the seventh with a four-run barrage.

“deNoble did a good job of limiting the damage and the defense backed him up,” Rumsey said. “We were geared up to take on the same Junction City team that we played in (the season opening) Tournament of Champions. It turned out we were playing their 16-and under team tonight, but we went in with the same mentality.

“We did a good job of coming out and hitting the ball. We faced a team where the pitching wasn’t as strong (as the one we played in the TOC), but we were still taking the pitches we were supposed to take, and taking the balls we were supposed to take.”

Manko has the weekend off and won’t be in action again until next Saturday, when the 17ers will take part in the Kansas Grand Slam wood bat tournament in Salina.

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