Marion County team wins CKL League tourney

Front (from left) Corbin Marple, Jess Philpott, Caleb Potucek, Matt Potucek, Hunter Navrat, Garrett Helmer, Jaxxon Hanschu, head coach Jayson Hanschu.

Back (from left) Asst coach Chris Mercer, Braeden Mercer, Hunter Jones, Jacob Thiessen, Alex Caldwell, Landon Robert, Seth Lanning, asst coach Gene Lanning.

The Marion County/Hillsboro 18U Baseball Team won the CKL “League” Tournament in Hesston. The tournament was played July 17-19. The Marion County team went 5-0 during the tournament, as they went 3-0 in ‘pool play’ and then won the semi-final and championship games in ‘bracket play’.

While the 5-0 record might seem like the team ‘cake-walked’ through the tourney, it was anything but that. The team came from behind in 4 of their 5 wins, including one in which they went in to 4 extra innings to pull out the victory. While winning the final game gave the team the Championship, it may have been the semi-final game that was the ‘highlight’ of the tournament. Marion County played arch rival Hesston in the semi-final game, and in a well-played game that was close from beginning to end, Marion County pulled out the 5-2 victory.

Hesston Recreation put the tournament on this year, as they wanted the players from the CKL high school league to have a chance to compete against each other since they didn’t get to have a high school season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Marion County defeated teams from Haven, Larned, Halstead (twice), and Hesston. Other teams in the tourney included Pratt, Lyons, and Smoky Valley/Lindsborg.

“I think it was a great idea Hesston had to put the tournament together, as it gave the kids a chance to play against their high school teams since they didn’t get the opportunity this spring because the school season got canceled,” said head coach Jayson Hanschu. “I was very proud of how our team competed and showed lots of grit and determination throughout the tournament, and to come out on top and win the championship was extra nice for our players, especially the seniors who didn’t get the chance to finish out their high school careers this past spring.”

The Marion County 18U team plays out of Hillsboro through the Hillsboro Recreation Commission. Players on the team are from Hillsboro, Peabody, and Marion. The team has been playing well and is currently 16-4 on the season. The team’s final two double-headers are scheduled for July 21 and July 23rd at 6 pm at home at Memorial Field in Hillsboro.