WATHENA – One big inning was all the damage Doniphan County needed to inflict on the Atchison Junior A’s on Saturday.
Playing in the championship of the Doniphan County Junior Tournament, DC and Atchison were fairly even for six of the seven innings. The third inning proved to be the biggest difference in the game, though, as DC won 5-0.
After the teams each were scoreless through two innings, DC’s Zeb Speer started the third with a bang, knocking a triple off A’s starting pitcher Abe Siebenmorgen. Brock Blair followed with a walk and Tyler Franken singled to score Speer.
Siebenmorgen bounced back with a strikeout, but Bryson Kirkland reached on an error that allowed two runs to score. Kirkland stole second and third, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Levi Watts. Atchison’s Ayden Black relieved Siebenmorgen and ended the inning with a strikeout.
Only two of the four runs Siebenmorgen allowed were earned.
Kirkland handled all seven innings on the mound for DC, stifling the Atchison batters.
The A’s were able to get two runners on in the second, but Kirkland forced a fly out to end the threat. In the third, Atchison again put two runners on with one out, but Kirkland escaped the jam by inducing an infield pop out and a ground ball, keeping DC up 4-0.
“We left a lot of guys on base,” said Chuck Trotter, Atchison head coach. “We just couldn’t get them in. We made a crucial error … it was just a matter of making a couple mistakes.”
Doniphan scored once more in the fourth. Speer again led off and again got on base – this time with a single. He stole second and advanced to third on a ground out, then scored on a ground out by Tyler Franken.
The five-run cushion was more than enough for Kirkland. The A’s never again put together a real threat and DC went on to win.