The KABC all-state baseball players in the class of 2017 gathered at Tointon Family Stadium on the campus of Kansas State University on Wednesday, June 7 for the 2017 KABC All-Star game. Players from all over Kansas from 1A-6A were split into two teams, orange and yellow. This gave players a chance to meet and play with schools they would not normally compete with due to the difference in school sizes.
Dane Pedersen (Andover Central), Nolan Riley (Augusta), and Tritten Beavers (Bluestem) were among the athletes that were invited to participate.
The game was scheduled for 10 innings, so that each player would get a chance to play, with a new pitcher on the mound every inning.
Between innings, players were recognized for their accomplishments this season and plaques were handed out to the players of the year in each classification.
The Orange team came out on top after 10 innings by a score of 5-4. Each team had nine hits.
Dane Pedersen pitched the top of the seventh inning for the orange team. Pedersen gave up one run and got a strikeout to end the inning. Nolan Riley doubled and Tritten Beavers followed with a single to bring Riley home as he slid to narrowly beat the throw to the plate. In the top of the next inning, Beavers got another hit to tie the game at four in the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth, the Orange team scored their fifth run, which would be the final run of the game as the orange team came away with the victory.
Tritten Beavers finished 2-for-2 with two RBIs for the Yellow team while facing some of the state’s best pitching. Beavers will attend Independence Community College and will be a member of the Pirates baseball team next season.
Nolan Riley finished with a double in two at-bats. Riley is headed to Barton Community College next season.
Dane Pedersen pitched one inning for the winning team. Pedersen enjoyed getting to see some old teammates he played alongside in different leagues when he was younger.
“It was really fun seeing a bunch of people I grew up playing with and meeting up with them again and seeing new talent” said Pedersen. “When I was younger I played with the [Wichita] Independent guys, and I met a bunch of new kids today from other schools.”
Pedersen has been playing baseball from a young age and decided to pursue something different in college. Pedersen played a large role in the success of Central’s soccer program and a third place finish at the 4-1A state tournament in the fall.
“I started soccer late in my life, and I just wasn’t ready to give it up” said Pedersen, who will be a part of the Tabor College soccer team this fall.