The American Legion Manhattan Manko junior 17ers couldn’t finish a strong start Thursday night on the road against the Salina Eagles in a 7-2 loss at Dean-Evans Stadium.
Manhattan held a 2-0 lead after the third inning and remained tied with Salina 2-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, but big innings the rest of the way cost the 17ers in its lone nine-inning contest of the night.
“Basically we beat ourselves tonight,” Manhattan head coach Dan Rumsey said. “We had a couple errors that led to runs in the middle innings of the game and we had mental lapses on the base paths that killed potential scoring situations.”
Manhattan starting pitcher Jeremy Broadwater had a productive night and ultimately avoided the loss. In six innings on the hill, Broadwater allowed just one run on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
“Jeremy had another outstanding start for us, and Salina’s head coach had words of praise for him after the game,” Rumsey said. “He has really stepped it up on the mound for us and has matured as a pitcher in the month that he has played for coach (Dillon) Mack and I.”
Offensively, Broadwater led the way there, too, finishing 2 for 3. Teammates Grant Urban, Eric Prockish, Ian Hart and Jake Olson also recorded a hit each. Hart and Issac Leon recorded the team’s only RBIs.
“I told the guys tonight that we have yet to reach our full potential as a team,” Rumsey said. “It has been around this time the last couple of summers that my teams have really turned the corner and started playing their best baseball.
“We have the weekend off but we are all very anxious to get back on the field and keep preparing for the Zone tournament.”
Leon closed the game on the mound for the 17ers, but struggled. He did record a strikeout, but also had eight walks.
Still, Rumsey credited Salina’s effort.
“The Eagles played very solid and fundamentally sound baseball the whole night,” he said, “which proved to be the difference.”