The Abilene Cowboy baseball team’s historic run came to an end Thursday night at the 4A State baseball tournament in Salina. Abilene, the #7 seed, fell 10-5 to #2 Tonganoxie 10-5. The Chieftains advanced on to the semifinals to face Frontier League rival #6 Paola. The Panthers shut-out #3 Clay Center 5-0 in the final game of the night. Tonganoxie and Paola split during the regular season. #1 McPherson defeated #8 El Dorado 7-3 and #5 Ottawa got past #4 Iola 5-3 in the other games yesterday at Dean Evans Stadium.
The Cowboys got the start they wanted against Tonganoxie. Sophomore, Drew Hansen and Senior, Carter Taplin reached base courtesy of a single and a walk in the top of the 1st. Sophomore, Stocton Timbrook then connected on his second homerun of the season to straight away center field to give Abilene A 3-0 lead as they two teams entered the bottom half of the inning.
Timbrook started the game for the Cowboys. He surrendered 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st. He walked the first two batters of the second inning and was relieved by Senior, Sam Burton. The Chieftains were able to add 4 runs in the 2nd inning and 2 more in the 3rd to take a 9-3 advantage into the 4th.
In the top of the 5th, Abilene got back-to-back singles by Hansen and Sophomore, Zach Miller and they were driven in by Timbrook and Burton to cut the deficit to 9-5. Tonganoxie went on to add their final run in the bottom of the 5th. Sophomore, Kyson Becker pitched the final 3 innings for the Cowboys and yielded just one run while striking out 4.
The Chieftains improved to 19-3 on the season with the victory. Tonganoxie will now place for the 3rd time in school history, in what is their 5th trip to State overall. Their best finish was 3rd in 1992. They have made 4 trips now to State since 2014 under current Head Coach, Mitch Loomis.
Senior, Mason Davenport picked up the win for Tonganoxie. He pitched 5 innings, gave up 5 runs on 8 hits while striking out 8. He improved to 8-0 on the season and 14-3 for his career. He is expected to be named All-State first team for a second straight season.
Abilene finished the season 13-9. The Cowboys made history with their first ever trip to State for a program that started in 2000. Abilene graduated 6 Senior, but have a bright future as they started 4 Sophomore and 2 Freshman in the loss to the Chieftains.