Comeback Eagles ready for 3A State Baseball
There are teams which have a tinge of destiny on their side, pulling off come-from-behind wins and exceeding expectations along the way.
Then, there's Hugoton baseball.
Staring first-round elimination at the Colby Regional in the face in their opener against Goodland, the Eagles found a way to win that game, and the next two, to emerge as the Regional Champions and advance to the state tournament once again.
Two of those games went extra innings, and all three wins were of the come-from-behind variety. Not only did they rally past Goodland in a 10-inning battle, 2-1, they also rallied past Cimarron, 8-7, and beat top-seeded Scott Community in 8 innings, 4-3, to make it back to state.
Now, the Eagles (15-8) draw the No. 8 seed and will start their state tournament appearance on Thursday against top-seeded Garnett-Anderson County (20-3) at 3:30 pm Thursday at the KSU-Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan.
Head coach Tanner Rindals had his team at state in his first season at the helm, 2019, which saw the Eagles rip off 10 straight wins before losing their state opener to Minneapolis. Now, they return after another recent hot streak.
However, this season, the streak is just four, having blasted Cimarron in their final regular season contest before the regional tournament.
Hugoton, like many other teams across the state, had to deal with the loss of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, but still managed to make another run at state this season, albeit in dramatic fashion.