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Wichita East/Class 6A Baseball Report
May 5, 2011By Tom Witherspoon of VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Kansas
Photo by Jeff Tuttle
BENSCH COACH Ryan Bensch has led the rebuilding project that is East baseball for five seasons. East was 13-3 going into a Thursday double-header against Southeast.
According to coach Ryan Bensch's statistics, Wichita East had five regular starters batting over .400 going into Thursday's double-header against Wichita Southeast.
The Aces (13-3) swept key double-headers in April against Wichita Northwest and Kapaun. Both early-season wins over Northwest were from behind, taking the lead in the seventh inning. The wins over Kapaun were high-scoring. East has depended on offense this season, as their top three pitchers logging over 20 innings have earned-run averages of over 3.00 (one is over 4.00).
East is led by its junior class, which includes Jordan Knox and Nick Ragias. Ragias, who also has the most innings-pitched with over 30 (3.42 ERA), bats .491, has scored 26 runs, batted in 19 and stolen 15 bases. Knox bats .455 and has 18 runs batted-in with 15 stolen bases. Catcher Dillon Youngman, also a junior, was featured in our April Spotlight section. He bats .490, striking out just five times in 49 at-bats, and has scored 25 runs.
Photo by Jeff Tuttle (Youngman)
East has split double-headers with Word of Life, Wichita Heights and Dodge City. They close the regular season Tuesday at Bishop Carroll (12-5), which plays at Goddard (13-2) Thursday night.
Maize (15-0) is an overwhelming favorite to make it out of their regional, but the play-off for the other two area Class 6A berths in the state tournament should be competitive. Regionals start May 16-19.
Following Maize, the likely No. 1 seed barring an epic collapse for a team averaging over 12 runs per game, much is yet to be determined for the regional pairings. Goddard, Campus (14-3), Wichita East (13-3) and Wichita Northwest (13-3) are in contention for the other two top seeds. Some combination of those four teams should form head-to-head regional championship games with Class 6A state berths on the line. Of the four, only East and Northwest have played head-to-head.
Not even Maize will get a free pass to state. They will likely meet Dodge City (9-7) or Hutchinson (7-9) in a regional final. Hutch split with Goddard, and Dodge City split with Wichita East.