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BREAKING NEWS

Abilene Cowboys Place 3rd at 4A State Baseball!

Trent SanchezMay 24, 2024

 

picture courtesy of Brad Anderson 

PRATT 3  ABILENE 2

SALINA: The (2) Abilene Cowboys played in the semifinals of the 4A State tournament for the first time in school history Friday afternoon at Dean Evans Stadium.  They faced one of the hottest teams in the state in the (3) Pratt Greenbacks.  Pratt lost their first four games of the season to Hutchinson and Great Bend but had not lost since and rode a 25 game winning streak into the match-up with the Cowboys.  Pratt opened the State tournament with a 7-3 victory over (6) Circle.

Pratt got on the board first in the top of the 2nd inning.  The Greenbacks were able to manufacture 2 runs on just 1 hit in the inning and capitalized off of 2 Cowboy errors.  Pratt got runs from Chaz Teafatiller and Max Younie in the inning

Abilene got back into the game in the 4th inning.  Senior, Zach Miller singled and was driven in by Sophomore, Heath Hoekman’s double.  Hoekman later scored on a single by Freshman, Jake Bartley.

Pratt got the winning run in the 6th inning on a RBI double by Jayden Mies.  He drove in Caleb Strong for the deciding run.  Abilene Sophomore, Lane Hoekman, reached third base in the bottom of the 7th but the Cowboys were unable to bring him home.

Top-seeded Rock Creek defeated Pratt 7-3 in the State Championship.  The Mustangs have now won 3 State titles under Shane Sieben since 2015.  Abilene was the only team to beat Rock Creek this season.

ABILENE 10  PAOLA 9

SALINA: Abilene faced Paola in the 3rd place game. Paola overcame a midseason 7 game losing to return to the 4A State baseball tournament.  The Panthers finished in 4th place in 2023.  In the opening round, Paola defeated rival Louisburg 3-0 before falling in the semifinals 10-5 to (1) Rock Creek.

The Panthers got off to a fast start against Abilene.  Paola led 6-0 as the teams entered the bottom of the 3rd inning.  The Cowboys got back into the game with 7 runs in the bottom of the 3rd.  Abilene got runs from Thomas Keener, Drew Hansen, Zach Miller, Heath Hoekman, Stocton Timbrook, Kyson Becker and Levi Evans.  Miller, Timbrook, Becker and Evans all drove in runs in the 3rd.

Paola reclaimed the lead in the top of the 4th with three runs to take a 9-7 advantage.  Abilene pulled to withing 9-8 in the bottom of the 4th.  Miller walked and was driven in by Timbrook.  The Cowboys tied the game in the 5th when Bartley scored on a wild pitch.

Abilene won the game in the bottom of the 8th.  Miller led off the inning with a single, he was then driven in on a Timbrook drive to the fence in right field.

Abilene finished the season with a school record 24 wins and an overall record of 24-3.  The Cowboys also placed at the State tournament for the first time in school history.  The Senior class of Becker, Hunter Clark, Hansen, Miller and Timbrook helped the program reach new heights.  They all contributed to the Cowboys making it to State the last three seasons.  Abilene also won the NCKL for just the second time in school history  Abilene had never made it to State prior to 2022.  Chad Overturf, played this season, in his Senior year, and helped contribute to the team’s success.

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