• Falcons rally to clip Chrisman at 'The K'

  • During the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against William Chrisman, Van Horn baseball coach Tim Wilson made a bold prediction to leadoff hitter Marc Krantz.

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  • During the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against William Chrisman, Van Horn baseball coach Tim Wilson made a bold prediction to leadoff hitter Marc Krantz.
    Krantz, who’s been hitting around .600 this season, had just popped out after striking out his previous at-bat with the Falcons were trailing by three runs. But hang in there, Wilson told Krantz, in a couple more innings, he prophesied, he was going to come through with the winning hit in the game that was played at the Royals' Kauffman Stadium.
    After a three-run rally in the top of the seventh, there was Krantz coming up with a go-ahead sacrifice fly that scored Nathan Ingold to lift Van Horn to a 4-3 eight-inning victory.
    “I told him in the fifth inning, I was like, ‘Hey man, you’re going to get another chance, you’re going to get a hit and win the game,’” Wilson said. “He kind of looked at me funny and then he comes to me afterwards and says, ‘How did you know that?' And I’m like, ‘I told you.’”
    Krantz wasn’t the only Falcon who came up with some clutch hitting. After falling behind 3-0 in the second inning, the Van Horn offense struggled for four innings before manufacturing some seventh-inning heroics that were aided by a couple Chrisman miscues. A pair of errors allowed the Falcons (6-11) to pull within 3-2, and then Levi Kelsey stroked a two-out single that scored Myles Gibson and forced extra innings.
    “We were getting people on base all game,” said Kelsey, who pitched five innings and allowed just one unearned run. “We just had to get them in and put together some hits. We fight the whole game. We got down a little bit, but we fought our way back.”
    It seemed unlikely that the Falcons and Bears would ever get the chance to complete the game at the major-league venue. The teams earned the opportunity to play at Kauffman after both teams sold more than 1,000 Royals ticket vouchers. But the day the game was originally slated for in March was wiped out by a snowstorm. They tried again on April 22 and played 1 1/3 innings before it was rained out.
    “The guys with the Royals were really helpful,” said Chrisman coach J.R. Wells, whose team hosts Fort Osage today before taking on Liberty North in the first round of Class 5 District 15 play on Saturday. “It’s a really cool experience and a neat thing for the kids who worked hard selling vouchers. It’s really cool to sit in the dugout where (Eric) Hosmer and (Alex) Gordon and (Billy) Butler play. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal.”
    Wednesday’s game picked up where the April contest left off, with the Bears (4-16) leading 2-0 in the top of the second. They went up 3-0 in the bottom of the frame as Jerry Snow drove in a run with a groundout. From there, David Mooney pitched five shutout innings and finished the game with six strikeouts.
    Page 2 of 2 - Unfortunately for the Bears, a familiar chaos engulfed the final frame and spoiled an otherwise sharp performance.
    “We just don’t understand how to finish games,” Wells said. “We let doubt creep in our minds. We haven’t been very successful the last few years and don’t understand how to win. You’ve got to play to the final out.”
    Matt Bruce finished 2-for-3, reached three times and scored to lead the Bears and Mooney finished 2-for-4 with a stolen base.
    Michael Payne earned the victory for the Falcons by firing two scoreless innings in relief. Gibson reached four times while going 2-for-4 and Ingold cracked a single and double and stole a base.
    “It’s a huge momentum builder,” said Krantz, who will help lead the second-seeded Falcons into Monday’s Class 4 District 15 semifinals against either Lincoln College Prep or Kansas City East. “We’re going to take that into districts and we’re going to put it out.”
    Follow Shawn Garrison on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC

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