ST. MARYS — After one inning, it was only a 1-0 game.
Lenox had visions of hanging with eighth-ranked Martensdale-St. Marys, having lost 9-2 earlier in the season to the defending state champions.
Then the hammer came down on the Blue Devils’ home field.
Five runs in the second inning, six more in the third and a three-spot in the fourth ended the game on the state’s mercy rule, 15-0. Junior pitcher Eddy Kraber pitched two perfect innings for the Blue Devils (29-9), yielding to junior Miller Hatcher for the final two.
Lenox’s only baserunner in the game was Dustyn Rauch, who doubled and was stranded on base in the third inning.
Pitching on only one day’s rest from defeating Murray in a complete game Thursday, Lenox sophomore Caleb Lange took the loss, relieved by Spencer Brown and Mason Peterson.
“They looked very capable of competing for a (state) championship this time,” Lenox co-coach Kurt Stoaks said. “Going in, we felt like we had a shot. But last night, wow, they just pounded the ball and got on a roll. And with Kraber on the mound, they could ride him a long way.”
Lange got through the first inning relatively unscathed, but the second inning was a different story. It was 8-0 by the time he was relieved by Brown in the third with one out.
“Caleb didn’t have his stuff,” Stoaks said. “He just wasn’t as sharp or have as much velocity. They really put the bat on the ball.”
Brown had some control problems, yielding to Peterson early in the fourth.
“They have tough hitters, and we’re at our best defensively with Mason at shortstop, but we needed to make that move at that point,” Stoaks said.
Peterson is the only senior starter in the lineup for Lenox (18-11).
“We do have a good nucleus returning,” Stoaks said.
Martensdale-St. Marys takes on Underwood (23-10) in the substate round Tuesday at Creston. Underwood defeated Nishnabotna, 10-1.
Martensdale-St. Marys 15, Lenox 0
R H E
MSM 156 3 — 15 10 0
Lenox 000 0 — 0 1 4
MSM: Eddy Kraber 2K 0BB, Miller Hatcher (3) 3K 0BB and Luke Anctil. L: Caleb Lange 2K 4BB, Spencer Brown (3) 0K 2BB, Mason Peterson (4) 1K 0BB and Dustin Gordon. W — Kraber. L— Lange. 2B — MSM: Garrett Gehringer; L: Dustyn Rauch. RBI — MSM: Trent Verwers 5, Dylan Gibson 2, Luke Anctil 2, Gehringer 2, Gage Gavin 1, Kraber 1, Alex Kim 1. Multiple hitters — MSM: Verwers 3, Anctil 2.