Bluejays head back to 3A State Tournament

The Sabetha Bluejays are named Class 3A Regional Boys Baseball Champions after defeating Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.

The Sabetha Bluejay baseball squad entered the 2022 Class 3A Regional Baseball Tournament held at Somerset Park and at Marysville with an 11-6 record and a second-place seeding. The Jays needed three wins in the regional tournament to earn a trip back to the state tournament to be held at Tointon Family Stadium on Thursday, May 26.

The Jays won back-to-back state championships in 2018 and 2019 and had not been back to the tournament since the 2019 championship run.

The Jays faced the Doniphan West Mustangs in the opening game on Monday, May 16, and despite trailing 5-3 after four innings, the Jays battled back and won the game 15-5 to move on to the second game. In the second game of the evening, the Jays faced the Riley County Falcons, who had upset Nemaha Central in the earlier game. Once again, the Jays fell behind 4-2, but once again battled back for the 8-5 victory to send them to Marysville for the championship game to be held on Wednesday, May 18.

The Jays would face the Jeff West Tigers, who upset the number one seed Royal Valley Panthers to move into the championship tilt. In unbelievable fashion, the Jays erased a 5-0 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, and then followed that with five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 9-5 lead that would hold up despite the Tigers adding one more run in the top of the sixth. The Jays closed out the game with a shutout seventh inning and won 9-6 to earn the trip back to the state tournament.

The comeback for the Jays, which began in the bottom of the fourth inning, was even more amazing as all four runs occurred after there were two outs. Senior Tristan Wittwer led off the inning with a single, and that was followed by a walk earned by sophomore Christian McAfee.

Back-to-back strikeouts put a damper on the Jay’s hopes, but junior Nohl Niehues smashed a one-run double, and that was followed by a clutch two-run triple by freshman Mitchel Kramer to keep the rally moving forward. Kramer scored on a wild pitch and the Jays were within one run. In the bottom of the fifth trailing 5-4, the Jays loaded the bases on three walks, and with one out, junior Jonathan Renyer stroked a two-run single to give the Jays their first lead.

Once again, Niehues came to the plate and once again ripped a double that drove in two more runs. Kramer then followed that double with a double of his own to drive in Niehues to give the Jays the 9-5 lead. That would be all they needed to finish out the game and to win the regional tournament and the trip to the Class 3A State Tournament beginning Thursday, May 26, in Manhattan.

Doniphan West

In the opening game against the Doniphan West Mustangs, the Jays sent senior Tristan Wittwer to the mound. He pitched three innings and allowed four runs on three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. Junior Josh Herrmann came on in relief in the top of the fourth and pitched 2-1/3 innings, allowing just one run on two hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Freshman Mitchel Kramer came on in the bottom of the sixth and closed out the game, allowing no runs on no hits with one walk.

The Jays pounded out 13 hits in the contest and scored nine runs in the bottom of the fifth to put the game out of reach for the Mustangs. The Jays would add three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to end the game and claim the 15-5 victory.

The Jays had five batters with a pair of hits, including Wittwer, juniors Matthew Garber and Jonathan Renyer, and sophomores Marcus Bauman and Christian McAfee. Garber had three RBIs in the contest, as did junior Nohl Niehues.

5.16.2022 Regionals vs. Doniphan West

#

Player Name

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Matthew Garber

4

1

2

3

1

1

Marcus Bauman

5

2

2

0

0

0

Josh Herrmann

3

0

0

0

1

1

Tristan Wittwer

4

2

2

1

1

1

Christian McAfee

4

2

2

1

1

1

Nohl Niehues

3

2

1

3

0

0

Jonathan Reyner

5

2

2

1

0

3

Aiden Lang

3

2

1

0

1

1

Chase Frey

3

1

0

0

1

1

Mitchell Kramer

1

0

1

1

0

0

Sabetha

2-0-0-1-9-3 | 15-13-1

Doniphan West

1-0-3-1-0-0 | 5-5-7

 

Game 1 Pitching

Name

IP

#P

S%

H

R

ER

SO

BB

HR

Tristan Wittwer

3.0

72

58.3

3

4

4

8

3

Josh Herrmann

2.1

42

69.0

2

1

0

3

1

Mitchell Kramer

0.2

8

37.5

0

0

0

0

1

Riley County

In the second game of the evening against the Riley County Falcons, the Jays were held to seven hits, but they scored eight runs and were aided by three Falcon errors on their way to the 8-5 win. Junior Jonathan Renyer led the balanced attack with a double and a triple and one RBI. Five other Jays collected one hit and senior Tristan Wittwer drove in a pair of runs with his single.

Sophomore Christian McAfee was on the mound for the Jays and pitched five solid innings, allowing four runs on just two hits with five walks and three strikeouts. Freshman Mitchel Kramer pitched the sixth inning and gave up no runs on one hit with one walk. Sophomores Chase Frey and Aiden Lang teamed up to shut down the Falcons in the bottom of the seventh inning to close out the game.

5.17.2022 Regionals vs. Riley County

#

Player Name

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Matthew Garber

4

1

1

0

0

0

Marcus Bauman

3

2

1

0

1

0

Josh Herrmann

1

0

0

0

1

0

Tristan Wittwer

4

0

1

2

0

1

Christian McAfee

2

0

0

1

2

0

Nohl Niehues

3

1

1

1

0

1

Jonathan Reyner

3

1

2

1

0

0

Aiden Lang

2

0

0

0

1

0

Mitchell Kramer

3

0

1

1

0

1

Sabetha

2-0-4-1-1-0-X | 8-7-1

Opponent

0-3-1-0-0-0-1 | 5-5-3

Game 1 Pitching

Name

IP

#P

S%

H

R

ER

SO

BB

HR

Christian McAfee

5.0

92

54.3

2

4

2

3

5

Aiden Lang

0.1

4

50

0

0

0

0

0

Chase Frey

0.2

24

33.3

2

1

1

0

3

Mitchell Kramer

1.0

13

46.2

1

0

0

0

1

Jeff West

In the championship game with the Jeff West Tigers, the Jays sent junior Josh Herrmann to the mound and he pitched three innings, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout. Sophomore Aiden Lang came on in relief and pitched three innings and allowed three runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Sophomore Will Ulrich closed out the game in the seventh inning, allowing no runs, no hits, no walks and one strikeout.

The Jays were outhit by the Tigers nine to seven, but were helped out by two Tiger errors. The Jay hitting attack was led by freshman Mitchel Kramer, who went three-for-three at the plate with a double and a triple and two RBIs. Junior Nohl Niehues went two for three at the plate with a pair of doubles and three RBIs. Junior Jonathan Renyer went one for two at the plate with a pair of RBIs.

The 15-7 Jays will enter the 3A State Baseball Championship as the number six seed, and will take on the number three seeded Columbus High School. They have a record of 20-2. The contest will begin at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at KSU Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan.

5.18.2022 Regionals vs. Jeff West

#

Player Name

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Matthew Garber

4

0

0

0

0

2

Marcus Bauman

3

1

0

0

1

1

Josh Herrmann

3

0

0

0

0

1

Tristan Wittwer

3

2

1

0

1

2

Christian McAfee

1

2

0

0

2

1

Nohl Niehues

3

2

2

3

0

1

Jonathan Reyner

2

1

1

2

1

1

Aiden Lang

3

0

0

0

0

3

Mitchell Kramer

3

1

3

2

0

0

Sabetha

0-0-0-4-5-0 | 9-7-0

Opponent

1-0-2-2-0-1-0 | 6-9-2

Game 1 Pitching

Name

IP

#P

S%

H

R

ER

SO

BB

HR

Aiden Lang

3.0

61

55.7

4

3

3

3

2

Josh Herrmann

3.0

74

50

5

3

3

1

3

Will Ulrich

1.0

16

56.3

0

0

0

1

0

Junior Josh Herrmann throws the ball to first base during Sabetha’s closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.
Junior Matthew Garber smacks the ball during Sabetha’s closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.
Sophomore Marcus Bauman waits for the pitch during Sabetha’s closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.
Senior Tristan Wittwer swings for the ball during Sabetha’s closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.
Junior Nohl Niehues catches this pop fly during Sabetha’s closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.
Sophomore Aiden Lang swings for the ball during Sabetha’s closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.
Freshman Mitchell Kramer sends the ball into the field during Sabetha’s closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.
Junior Jonathan Renyer tries to make it home during Sabetha’s closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.
Junior Jonathan Renyer tries to make it home during Sabetha’s closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sophomore Will Ulrich pitches the ball during Sabetha’s closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.
The Sabetha Bluejays are excited after winning their closing contest of Regional baseball against Jefferson West on Wednesday, May 18.
The Sabetha Bluejays celebrate after deafeating Jefferson West and taking the Class 3A Regional Boys Baseball Championship on Wednesday, May 18.
Senior Tristan Wittwer fires this pitch across the plate during Sabetha’s opening contest of Regional baseball against Doniphan West on Monday, May 16.
Sophomore Chase Frey slides into second base safely during Sabetha’s opening contest of Regional baseball against Doniphan West on Monday, May 16.
Sophomore Aiden Lang throws the ball into the infield during Sabetha’s opening contest of Regional baseball against Doniphan West on Monday, May 16.
Freshman Mitchell Kramer slides into second base during Sabetha’s opening contest of Regional baseball against Doniphan West on Monday, May 16.
Junior Josh Herrmann fires this pitch across the plate during Sabetha’s opening contest of Regional baseball against Doniphan West on Monday, May 16.
Senior Tristan Wittwer prepares to tag out this Doniphan West baserunner during Sabetha’s opening contest of Regional baseball on Monday, May 16.
Junior Matthew Garber fields the ball during Sabetha’s opening contest of Regional baseball against Doniphan West on Monday, May 16.

Tim Kellenberger62 Posts

Tim Kellenberger serves as Owner, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief for The Sabetha Herald since 2004. He specializes in sports reporting and column writing, as well as sports photography. Tim is a Grace University graduate with a dual degree in agricultural economics and human resource management. He lives in rural Sabetha with his wife and has four grown children and two grandchildren.

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