Khaliel Walker

Khaliel Walker rounds second base as he heads for third after hitting the ball into deep centerfield Sunday at North Park. Walker and the Junction City Jays 11U baseball team defeated a visiting C4 Raptors in an exhibition game as they prepare for their first tournament in Salina this weekend.

The first pitch of the summer season is less than a week away for the players of the Junction City Jays 11U baseball team and they knocked off a little rust with a scrimmage against the C4 Raptors Sunday in North Park.

The Jays walked away with the 19-0 rout victory in four innings using a combination of good pitching and strong defense to hold the Raptors at bay.

“The boys are definitely playing hard,” said coach Nate Boeckman. “They’re hustling hard. Pitches are looking solid. I’ll be honest, I think the entire defense looking solid. We need to work on hitting.”

The batting will come as the team works toward their first game Boeckman said. The scoring starting off in the bottom of the first inning with shortstop Khaliel Walker hitting a triple on the second pitch of the inning.

Walker scored on a passed ball during Mu’aadh Harris at bat for the first of five runs to cross the plate in the inning. Walker would be credited for four of the teams points during the game.

Harris earned the walk in the first inning before making his way around the horn to score the second run of the inning.

Eight of the teams 10 batters would score at least once in the game.

Jayson Neal started the game on the mound for the Jays striking out two in the first inning and earning an out by picking off a runner attempting to steal third base.

Brody Boeckman, Harris and Conrad Gomez also took turns on the mound as the combined for seven more strikeouts.

Nate said the team will work on fundamentals this week as they prepare for their tournament in Salina this weekend.

“We’re gonna have two more practices this week,” he said. “And then we play Saturday and Sunday in Salina, and we’re actually going to see this team here again in a tournament as well as I believe there are five other teams to win the tournament.”

The tournament is divided into two groups or pools, ‘A’ and ‘B’, with the bracket set Sunday with the top teams from each vying for the championship.

“I’m excited to get ball rolling finally,” Boeckman said.

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