AURORA | It’s hard to beat a good baseball team three times, but Grandview managed to find a way Saturday.
Facing a Smoky Hill team they’d 10-runned twice in Centennial League play, the Wolves nearly lost to the Buffaloes when it mattered most — with a spot in the Class 5A baseball championship series on the line.
A seventh-inning rally gave Grandview the clean sweep, however, as senior first baseman Rory Stewart dropped a single deep down the left field line to drive in Eric Mingus for a 2-1 walk-off win for the Wolves in the 5A District 3 championship game. Coach Dean Adams’ fourth-seeded Grandview team because the only Aurora squad to advance to the double elimination baseball championship series, which opens May 17.
The Wolves trailed the 20th-seeded Buffaloes by a run before Chris Browne singled in Reece Weber in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it 1-1. Grandview’s winning rally came in the seventh inning when Mingus walked, moved up on Jake Thurston’s single and scored when Stewart’s drive to left field managed to land just fair down the line.
Tanner Thomas picked up the win on the mound as he came on for starter Spencer Johnson and worked out of a jam in the top of the seventh in which the Buffaloes got two runners aboard with no outs.
Johnson scattered four hits and allowed one earned run in six innings for the Wolves.
Smoky Hill — which dominated No. 13 seed Monarch 8-0 in its first game behind Hank Hyde’s complete game, four-hit shutout — took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Hyde and Jacob Scott drew walks and
Starter JR McDermott pitched 5 2/3 strong innings for Smoky Hill, but finished with a no-decision after allowing Browne’s tying single.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at email@example.com or 303-750-7555
CLASS 5A DISTRICT 3 BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
(4) GRANDVIEW 2, (20) SMOKY HILL 1
Score by innings (r-h-e):
Smoky Hill 000 100 0 — 1 4 0
Grandview 000 001 1 — 2 6 1