The Leavenworth High School baseball program had some exciting news before Thursday’s game against Olathe South.
And the Pioneers had some excitement at the end of it too.
The baseball program posed for photos before the game with an over-sized check for $10,000 from the Kansas City Royals for field improvements at Sportsfield Park.
About two hours later, the players rushed onto the field to celebrate with Chase Broeker, who delivered a walk-off, game-winning single that gave the Pioneers a 4-3 victory over the Falcons in the final regular season game.
The comeback victory was hard fought in this light-hitting affair. The Falcons had just four hits and the Pioneers had just five.
Leavenworth jumped on top in the fourth when Broeker singled and scored on a squeeze bunt by Austin Wiley.
But the Falcons went up 3-1 in the top of the fifth. Jason Dudzik singled in a run and Brandon Ryan singled in one more. Another run scored on a bases-loaded walk.
The Pioneers scratched out a run in the bottom of the fifth when Hayes Edwards reached on an error, moved up on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an error.
The Pioneers tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Cruz Wahwahsuck drew a leadoff walk and scored on a fielder’s choice by Steele Sadler.
Leavenworth reliever Robert McKinley worked around a single in the seventh and kept the game tied going into the last of the seventh.
Ja’Hawn Byrd drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored with a head-first slide at home on Broeker’s sharp single to right.
That made a winner out of McKinley, who worked two solid innings of scoreless relief.
Before the game, the baseball program announced that it had been awarded a $10,000 grant for field improvements from Royals Charities and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.
“This is awesome. It’s a big check and a great feeling,” said Leavenworth baseball coach Joe Allison.
Allison said the check was donated to the city of Leavenworth, which owns Sportsfield Park.
He said the money will be used to rebuild the mound and replace the infield grass.
He said members of the Kansas City Royals field maintenance crew will do most of the work, which could begin in August.