Ravens Sunflower State games

The Upper Deck 14U Ravens pose after winning the Sunflower State Games on Sunday at the Bettis Family Sports Complex in Topeka on Sunday. Back row, from left, Emclean Taylor, MC Taylor, Hunter Valdemar, Naythan Hall, Ethan Fasano, Scotty Cary, Aven Fisher, Leo Ngiraidong and Kemondre Taylor. Front row, from left, Denver Kell, Keiondrae Wilcox, Landyn Ziegenhirt, Braedon Stroda, Cael Smith, Dallas Henton, Abdullah Harris and Talon Landreville. Not pictured: James Bradford.

The Upper Deck 14U Ravens became champions of the 14U Sunflower State Games on Sunday after getting wins over the Topeka Cyclones and the Riley County Falcons at Bettis Family Sports Complex in Topeka.

The wins improve the Ravens overall record to 27-14-2 and add some gold medals and a trophy to their collection.

Versus Topeka, both teams started off hot. The Cyclones grabbed a run in the top of the first before the Ravens scored five in the bottom of the inning. Topeka retook the lead with five runs in the top of the second but the Ravens responded right back with five runs of their own to push back ahead.

After a scoreless top of the third, the Ravens scored eight in the bottom of the third to put the game away and advance them to the championship game versus Riley County.

Ethan Fasano pitched the first inning and a third, allowing six runs (one earned)n on a hit and five walks with two strikeouts but it was Dallas Henton who earned the win, pitching an inning and two-thirds while allowing just one hit while striking out two.

Braedon Stroda, Landyn Ziegenhirt and Keiondrea Wilcox each had three hits while Naythan Hall, Hunter Valdemar and MC Taylor each had two hits. Taylor and Stroda each had two steals in the game.

Things were significantly tighter in the championship game as both teams scored a run in the first two innings. No one else scored until the bottom of the fifth when Cael Smith stole home to push the Ravens ahead by a run but Riley tied things right back up with a run scored on a two-out passed ball.

In the bottom of the sixth, a Hunter Valdemar triple and a Taylor single scored the two winning runs to put away the game.

Smith got the start and the win, pitching all six innings while allowing three runs (none earned) on five hits.

Stroda and Valdemar both had multi-hit days with three and two respectively and Smith had a team-leading three steals.

Up next, the Ravens will host Abilene’s 15U team at North Park on Wednesday for a doubleheader starting at 6 p.m.

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