OTTAWA — Hayden Baumwart has been comfortable being the lead-off batter for the Emporia Post 5 AAA Legion baseball team.
On Wednesday night, the Emporia High graduate and Barton Community College commit went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs in a 9-3 win over Ottawa.
“Hayden kind of set the tone at the top of the lineup for us,” Post 5 head coach Anthony Markowitz said. “I thought we still struggled as a team hitting-wise. It’s just seeing the ball, trusting our eyes and believing we’re going to get a hit. (It was a) good defensive effort all-around and found a way to win.”
After the two teams were scoreless through two innings, Emporia broke through in the third with an RBI groundout by Camden Kirmer and an RBI single by Baumwart.
Post 5 tacked on three in the fourth on an error and two bases-loaded walks.
Baumwart drove in his third run in the sixth with his third hit of the contest. Kirmer added Post 5’s seventh run on a steal of home.
Ottawa broke through against Hunter Groh, who entered the game in the fifth in relief of Riley Wagner. The Arrows avoided the shutout in the sixth as Wayne Laurie was hit by a pitch, Cole Swanson drove in run on a bases-loaded walk and Ty Gambrill scored on a wild pitch.
“For Hunter, not pitching that much this year, he came out and threw pretty well,” Markowitz said. “He hit a little bit of a rough patch, but got out of it.”
In the seventh, Kirmer had a sacrifice fly and Cade Kohlmeier scored on a wild pitch for Emporia’s final run of the contest.
Wagner earned the win on the mound, allowing two hits through 4.1 innings and throwing just 45 pitches.
“We did that to keep him available for Friday,” Markowitz said. “He’s a solid guy out on the mound, mixes it up and hits his spots pretty well. He’s pretty tough to hit. It’s good to see him have a great performance.”
Kirmer was 1-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in.
Post 5 (20-1) will travel to the Wichita Tournament that begins Friday. It’ll play Wellington at 5 p.m., followed by Chanute at 7 p.m. The two teams who finish in the top two of the three pools will advance to a six-team bracket on Saturday.
“We’ve got to win two games to put ourselves in a good position to compete for a tournament championship,” Markowitz said. “I think our guys are excited, they’re going to have a day off and recoup. I think the big thing is to get more energy in our dugout, get some more enthusiasm from one guy to the next.”
Zone Tournament sites announced
Emporia Post 5 AAA will be traveling to Pittsburg for the Zone 3 Tournament to be played between July 19-27.Along with Emporia, Pittsburg, Chanute, Linn County, Garnett and Newton will be a part of the double-elimination tournment. The winner of the tournament will advance to the Senior (AA/AAA) State Tournament on July 31-Aug. 4 in Hays.
The Emporia Post 5 A Legion baseball team will host the Zone 5 & 6 Tournament July 13-15 at Soden’s Grove. Along with Emporia, Topeka (Washburn Rural), Chanute, Ottawa, Garnett and Iola will be a part of the double-elimination tournament. The winner’s bracket champion and the consolation bracket champion will advance to the Junior (A) State Tournament July 24-28 at Lake Shawnee in Topeka.