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4A-I baseball: Rose Hill eliminates Andale-Garden Plain

Published May 29 at 11:56 p.m. | Last updated May 31 at 7:26 a.m.

When perception became reality for the Rose Hill baseball team on Thursday, it also became the worst thing possible for Andale-Garden Plain.

Forget that it was the furthest thing from the truth. It was the spark that ended up lifting the Rockets to a 6-4 upset in the first round of the Class 4A Division I state tournament.

“I saw it happen and I said ‘that’s the nail in their coffin’ and things were just different after that,” Rose Hill catcher Garrett Forsberg said. “I guess they thought they had it won. You could feel it in the dugout, like we knew that was the moment we had to pounce.”

Leading 4-1 headed into the fifth inning, Andale-Garden Plain pulled starting pitcher and Wichita State signee Tyler Jones after Jones went to the coaches and complained of soreness in his right tricep. Jones was also 2 for 2 at that point with a double.

“People want to criticize, that’s fine,” Andale-Garden Plain coach Levi Boyd said. “Just make sure they criticize me, not the kid. (Jones) has done everything we’ve ever asked of him.”

Because Jones hadn’t appeared to struggled before that point — he gave up five hits, no walks, one earned run and struck out six — it appeared to the Rockets that maybe some strategy was in play to save Jones for Friday’s semifinals or finals.

Just wasn’t the case.

“I went to the coaches and told them I didn’t think I could go another inning,” Jones said. “I told them I thought we’d be better off going with the bullpen. It’s a disappointing way to finish the season.”

Rose Hill (16-7) jumped on Andale-Garden Plain relief pitcher Sander Hanson immediately. Kyle Boal got the scoring going with an RBI single that scored Brett Bonar to make the score 4-2. Nathaniel Scantlin followed Boal with an RBI double to tie the game at 4-4, then Scantlin scored on a throwing error to give the Rockets a 5-4 lead.

“Once we started hitting (Hanson), they got rattled and we got on a roll,” said Scantlin, who went 3 for 4. “I think a lot of people thought we were going to lose, but we thought we had it in us to win, even when we were down 4-1.”

Rose Hill amped up its defense after taking the lead. Forsberg threw out Adam Savoie trying to steal second in the fifth and left fielder Bryce Barnett made an acrobatic, sliding catch to rob off a sharply-hit ball by Conner Tice that robbed Andale-Garden Plain of a run in the sixth.

The Rockets, who face Tonganoxie or DeSoto in Friday’s semifinal at 1:30 p.m., added a run on an RBI double by Samuel Grant in the sixth.

Griffin McBride picked up the win for Rose Hill. Hanson was the losing pitcher for Andale-Garden Plain (19-4).

No Wichita-area team has won the 4A state title since Wellington in 1995.

“It says a lot about a bunch of 15, 16-year-old kids to keep their composure and make that comeback,” Rose Hill coach Scott Carr said. “They kind of play old school, they play tough. Never get too high or too low. Makes it fun to coach.”

Fort Scott 6, Andover Central 4 — A big second inning by top-seeded Fort Scott was too much for Andover Central to overcome, despite a furious rally by the Jaguars in the seventh inning.

Fort Scott grabbed a 5-0 lead in the second inning as the Tigers lit up Andover Central starting pitcher Lucas Milner, getting RBI singles from Jacob Bradbury, Jacob Durossette and winning pitcher Mason Knopp before Chase Brown’s two-RBI single.

Bradbury added another RBI single in the third, chasing Milner from the game and giving Fort Scott (20-3) a 6-0 lead.

Andover Central (15-8) couldn’t score with runners on first and second and no outs in the second inning and came up scoreless again in the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs.

"We didn’t capitalize," Andover Central coach Grant Bacon said. "You’ve got to find a way to get one or two runs across in those innings. They put up five and you’re in catch-up, they’re in the zone and we were pressing a little bit."

Andover Central cut the score to 6-4 on Kierson Stamp’s sacrifice fly RBI that brought home Ryan Banwart, but Blake Meier flew out to center field to end the game. Fort Scott will play Paola, which knocked off defending 4A champion Topeka Hayden, in the other semifinal.

Fort Scott 6, Andover Central 4

Andover Central00000044 6 0
Fort Scott051000x6 9 2

W— Knopp. L— Milner.

Rose Hill 6, Andale-Garden Plain 4

Rose Hill01004106 9 0
Andale-GP12010004 8 3

W— McBride. L— Hanson.