Members of the Marion County / Cottonwood Valley League team that won an 18-and-younger Senior Babe Ruth district title this weekend in Haven include (front row, from left) coach Jayson Hanschu, Garrett Helmer, Jess Philpott, Caleb Potucek, Arlen Sigel, Luke Lanning, and Jaxxon Hanschu. Back row: coach Gene Lanning, Seth Lanning, Matthew Potucek, Kaden Kleiner, Hunter Hein, Braedon Mercer, Landon Roberts, Jorge Hanschu, and coach Tyson Kendrick.
Dramatic comeback leads to district title
In a dramatic comeback, Marion County’s Cottonwood Valley League team pummeled previously unbeaten Abilene to claim an 18-and-younger Senior Babe Ruth district title this weekend in Haven.
The Marion County / CVL team entered the tournament with a regular season record of 9-3 and opened with a tough 8-5 loss Friday to Hesston but fought its way back to the championship game, defeating Haven, 16-7, and then avenging its opening-round loss to Hesston, 6-5, in a thrilling, come-from-behind, walk-off victory.
In Sunday’s championship, Abilene got off to a fast 5-0 start after one inning, but those were the only runs Marion County would allow. Stellar pitching and hot bats resulted in Marion County run-ruling Abilene 22-5 after four innings.
The victory qualified Marion County to play in a state tournament this weekend in Columbus, but the team will not participate because of scheduling difficulties.
It had planned a 23-game regular season, as well, but was limited to just 12 games by weather and scheduling conflicts.
The team, based in Hillsboro, includes players from Hillsboro, Peabody, Marion, and Cottonwood Falls and is coached by Jayson Hanschu, Gene Lanning, and Tyson Kendrick.