Butler County Times Gazette
  • Bluestem baseball advances to State

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  • The Bluestem baseball team earned a trip to Class 3A State after winning two close games at Regionals.
    The Lions got a 5-4 win against Humboldt, then edged Caney Valley 4-3 to win the title.
    The Lions' first played Humboldt, which was ranked No. 3 in the state and had an undefeated record. John Stiger threw five very strong innings for the Lions. He only gave up two runs on two hits. Stiger worked himself out of a couple of tough situations early and was very tough.
    Nick Saia relieved Stiger for 1 1/3 innings to keep the Lions on top. Nathan Laidler came in and got the Lions out of a bases-loaded situation, and Cooper Minnick entered to pitch the final out. Minnick and Judd Simon both had two hits as the Lions finished off the nailbiter with a win.
    In the regional championship game against Caney Valley, the Lions jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Saia threw five innings of no-hit ball in his best pitching performance of the year.
    Caney Valley came back late to score three but was unable to get the tying run to the plate.
    The Lions return to the Class 3A state tournament, which begins next week.

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