By Travis Mounts
The Haysville Aviators’ first victory Tuesday evening at the National Baseball Congress World Series is enough to advance them to the next round.
A big seventh inning was the key to victory, as the Aviators scored 5 runs to break open a 1-1 and turn the game into a route. The Aviators scored their first run that inning – what proved to be the winning run – on a wild pitch. They scored 4 insurance runs after a pitching change. Sterling Spurling singled to drive in a run, Charles Gordon hit a double to drive in two more runs, and another run scored on a Dayan Reinoso single.
Cody Muncy scored to give Haysville a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, coming home on a sacrifice by Spurling. The Bat Cats’ only run came in the top of the sixth to tie the game.
Starting pitcher Devin Wagoner went five innings for Haysville in a no-decision start. He gave up three hits, struck out eight and walked four. Devin Marton got the win in four innings of scoreless relief. He struck out two and gave up just one hit.
Haysville outhit Great Bend 9-4. Gordon, Livan Reinoso and Keaton Candor had two hits each.
The Aviators were in a tough spot coming into the game. They were 0-2 in pool play, last among four teams, and down 7 runs in the point differential. But Santa Barbara – which edged Haysville 1-0 in last Friday’s opener, helped the Aviators by thumping the Gameday Saints 8-1. That erased the differential, and all the Aviators had to do was win. They did so convincingly, and now will play in Wednesday’s elimination round
The Aviators will play the Derby Twins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, in the NBC’s feature game. Haysville is the No. 3 team in Pool B, while Derby is the No. 2 team in Pool D.
If Haysville wins on Wednesday, they would take on the Cheney Diamond Dawgs on Thursday in a rematch of the Sunflower Collegiate League championship. The Aviators and Diamond Dawgs were the top two teams in the SCL, and Haysville would like to extract some revenge after losing the SCL championship series at Eck Stadium just before the NBC started.