The Junction City Jays 14U baseball team moved to 4-4 on the season after finishing the McPherson Tournament 3-2 including a loss to the host team in the championship round.
The weekend started with a split Saturday as the Jays handed Hesston a 13-0 loss in 3 1/2 innings played.
Later in the day, McPherson handed the Jays a 10-0 loss in five innings.
On Sunday, the Jays earned a seeding that placed them in the quarterfinals against the Buhler Nationals Red.
Junction City scored first in the bottom of the first inning when Michael Boganowski hit a leadoff single to centerfield. After stealing second base, Boganowski was moved to third on a grounder hit back to the pitcher by Brock Bazan.
Left fielder Andreyus Smith hit a two-out RBI single to center that scoring Boganowski. Smith would be caught stealing second moments later for the final out of the inning.
Buhler went up and down in order in the second allowing the Jays to stretch their 1-0 lead in the bottom-half.
Logan Lindsley hit a one-out double to center before moving to third on a grounder to the first baseman by Griffin Bohanan. Lindsley would score on a past ball before the a grounder to the third baseman ended the inning.
The Jays held Buhler to two more scoreless innings while adding three runs — two in the third and one in the fourth — before the Nationals found the scoreboard in the fifth inning.
Buhler scored three runs on three hits and one error to pull within two of the Jays.
The bottom-half of the fifth inning was a hitting showcase with four hitters — Logan Nabus, Smith, Aimin Strickland and Lindsley — hitting doubles toward the center fielder.
Bohanan reached first on an error and second on a different error before reaching home plate on a single by Gavin Moore scored the fifth and final run for the Jays.
Buhler’s final at bat ended with the inning going 1-2-3 as Ty Raulston struck out two batters with Bazan at shortstop grabbing a routine grounder for the out also.
Junction City took their 10-3 victory to the semifinals where they took on ICT Force.
A scoreless first inning for both teams resulted in Junction City placing two runs onto the scoreboard when Lindsley and Bazan crossed the plate in the second inning.
Junction City added one run in the third and fifth innings before adding two more runs in the seventh.
ICT Force finally found the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the early damage was too much to overcome as the Jays rolled out with the 6-3 victory.
The championship game was a rematch between the Jays and McPherson.
McPherson held the Jays scoreless after the first-half of play before adding six runs in the bottom-half to take the early 6-0 lead.
Strong pitching by Strickland and a defensive backing by his teammates held McPherson to those six points the remainder of the game.
Offensively, the Jays found the scoreboard for the first time in the top of the fourth inning when Boganowski scored on a Bazan single through the infield.
Bohanan and Raulston would score in the fifth inning to further cut into the McPherson lead.
Down 3-6, the Jays were held scoreless in the sixth inning with one final chance at scoring an upset over the home squad in the seventh.
Bohanan led the inning with a single to center before stealing second base. He was caught stealing third for the first out of the inning.
Raulston and Strickland both walked before a grounder by Moore moved them each forward a base while Moore was called out at first.
Boganowski popped a shot to center, scoring both Raulston and Strickland. A defensive player interfered in the play allowing him to reach second and was primed to score when the final out was called due to a pop up to the shortstop.
The Jays will be back in action today as they host Enterprise in a double-header at Rathert Stadium at 6 p.m. before heading to Kansas City Thursday for their next tournament.