Andrew Khoury

Senior Andrew Khoury swings at a pitch during Junction City's home win over Great Bend on March 30. 

Junction City baseball came out swinging when they traveled to Emporia on Tuesday evening and left with their first sweep of the season taking down the Spartans (2-2) 9-5 in extra innings in game one and 13-4 in game two. 

The Blue Jays (3-2) took an early 1-0 lead after their half of the first inning but Emporia answered back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. 

Junction City added a run in the third off a fielder’s choice and then another off a Bode Tillman single in the fourth to tie things up. 

Andrew Khoury gave Junction their first lead of the game off a two-out single in the top of the seventh and Tillman singled in his second run of the game directly after that. 

With the game on the line, the Spartans went from no one on with two outs to loaded bases after two straight walks and a single. Another Emporia single right after that brought two runners home and tied things up sending the game to extra innings after JC reliever Levi Mehl stopped the rally with a three-pitch strikeout. 

That’s when things exploded offensively for the Blue Jays. Junction City loaded the bases with no outs and then a single from Russell Wilkey, a Trevor Laughlin walk and another Khoury single brought home four and pushed Junction City's lead to 9-5. 

Mehl gave up a walk to start the inning but then a strikeout and two groundouts ended game one, giving the Blue Jays a win. 

Khoury had a huge game one, grabbing three hits and scoring four of Junction City’s nine runs. Tillman, Jonathan Phillips and Key’Ahn Taylor each had two hits. 

Laughlin got the start and went the first five innings allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks with a strikeout. Mehl came in for the final three, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks with three strikeouts. 

Junction City’s offensive explosion continued into game two. The Blue Jays scored two in the first and then piled on six in the top of the second to take a towering 8-0 lead after two innings.

Emporia got in a run in the bottom of the third but Junction City added on two more runs in the top of the fifth to stretch their lead to 10-1. The Spartans responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth but in the next inning, Junction City continued to pour it on, scoring three more runs to extend their lead to 10. Emporia scored a final desperation run in the bottom of the seventh to end the game. 

Laughlin, Tillman, Phillips and Varnado each had two-hit days with Tillman and Phillips each scoring multiple runs with two and three RBIs each. 

Jorden Kell got the start and the win for Junction in just three innings of work allowing just one run on three hits with three strikeouts. Braden Avers, Logan Lindsley and Wilkey came into the game in relief of Kell, allowing two runs on four hits and seven walks with six strikeouts in the final four innings as a collective. 

Junction City will try to keep the offensive prowess going when they travel to Topeka on Friday to face Topeka West (2-4). 


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