Senior 17ers win 11-0 in Zone semis

By Grant Guggisberg

The Manhattan Manko American Legion senior 17ers’ march to the AAA state legion tournament continued on Tuesday with an 11-0 rout of the Leavenworth Diamond Jaxx in the second day of play at the Leavenworth Zone tournament.

Now at 2-0 in the legion postseason and with a 10-game winning streak in tow, Manhattan is in a strong position to advance to the state tournament in Hays July 31-Aug. 4. They’ll face the winner of today’s first elimination game between the Diamond Jaxx and Atchison, which kept its season alive with a forfeit win over Leavenworth Geiger Ready-Mix on Tuesday. With a double-elimination format, the 17ers would have to lose twice to whatever team wins the first game of the day.

Against the Diamond Jaxx on Tuesday, Manhattan starter Jesse Steinbring was dominant in six strong innings, allowing three hits and no runs while logging 13 strikeouts.

Evan Olson came on in relief in the seventh after Manhattan added six runs to its lead and all-but put the game away, retiring the side in order with two strikeouts. Combined with Steinbring’s 13, the Diamond Jaxx struck out 15 times among their 21 outs on the day.

Offensively, Manhattan (24-14) put up five runs in the top of the third inning when Kellen Myers hit a one-out triple and was singled home by Josh Mullin after a Josh Klug walk. Chris Klug moved Josh Klug over to third, who scored on a wild pitch in the next at-bat. Jonah Webber and Dustan Whipple each followed with RBI singles and another run came home on an error to make it 5-0.

More run support came in the seventh with the game already in hand, as Chris Klug led off with a triple to get the bats going again. Mike Leeper knocked him home with a single after a walk, then Whipple hit a double to drive another run home. Leeper scored on a wild pitch and Whipple emptied the bases on a groundout RBI by DJ Kordyak. After a hit batter and a single, Mullin delivered with a two-out double to score two more runs and make it 11-0.

The 17ers now must wait to see who they’ll face in today’s second game in Leavenworth. Atchison and the Diamond Jaxx play each other in the first game at 6 p.m.

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