After taking an 8-0 first-game loss to Washburn Rural on Wednesday at Rural, the pressure was on Topeka High's baseball team and senior ace Nate Plankinton to get the Trojans back on track in the nightcap.

Plankinton welcomed the challenge and responded with a three-hit shutout as Topeka High improved to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the Centennial League with a 2-0 win.

NatePlankintonTH 9Nate Plankinton threw a complete-game three-hitter with 10 strikeouts in Topeka High's 2-0 second-game win at Washburn Rural Wednesday. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

"I love being a team captain and leading these guys and getting them amped up after a loss like that, telling them to shake it off and it's a completely new game,'' Plankinton said. "You've got to have a short memory in baseball. That's what it's all about.

"Now we just want to build off of this and keep working. I love this team so much. I love the team chemistry that we have and I have to give all credit to my coach, Cody Miller. He's a big part of why we can succeed like this and bounce back just like that.'' 

Plankinton normally pitches the first game for the Trojans but on Wednesday the plan was for him to be available as a closer in both ends of the doubleheader.

"The plan of attack today was first game to start Hank (Stamper) and if we got a lead by the fourth I was going to go in and close it out,'' Plankinton said. "That's what we did last year against them and it worked. I close out both games last year against Washburn Rural and we got the sweep.''

But after Washburn Rural (2-3, 1-1) took control in the opener with two runs in the second and three in the third on the way to a one-hit shutout, Miller had confidence that Plankinton was the man to right the High ship.

"We absolutely believe that,'' Miller said. "That's why he's pitching that second game. He's a fail safe basically and being able to put the game in his hands we know that we don't have to do that much offensively. We did play very well defensively that game, but Nate's big time.'' 

Plankinton and Washburn Rural senior starter Braden Ailslieger matched zeroes through the first four innings of the second game before sophomore Drayden Accosta led off the top of the fifth for Topeka High with a single and eventually came around to score on a Plankinton groundout.

The Trojans added an insurance run in the sixth when senior Stamper walked and scored on an Accosta single.

Plankinton did the rest, striking out three of the final five batters he faced to close out the Trojan win. Plankinton did not issue a walk in the game while striking out 10.

"He was very efficient,'' Washburn Rural coach Jay Mastin said of Plankinton. "He didn't walk anybody and I think he started the seventh inning with 75 pitches.''

BradenHauschelWR 2Washburn Rural senior Braden Hauschel held Topeka High without a hit for five innings in the Junior Blues' 9-0 first-game win. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

IsaacAnsleyWR 1Washburn Rural sophomore Isaac Ansley threw two shutout innings to finish off Rural's 9-0 first-game win over Topeka High. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

The first game was all Washburn Rural, with senior left-hander Braden Hauschel twirling five no-hit innings before sophomore Isaac Ansley finished out the shutout with two scoreless innings, allowing only a seventh-inning double to Accosta.

Rural scored the only runs it would need on a two-run double from junior Baron Blankenship in the bottom of the second inning.

BrantonDeWeeseWRBaseball 3Washburn Rural senior Branton DeWeese had a triple and single and three RBIs in Wednesday's 9-0 first-game win over Topeka High. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

The Junior Blues broke the game open with a three-run third, including a two-run triple from senior Branton DeWeese, and the Junior Blues added their final three runs in the fifth, with DeWeese picking up his third RBI of the game with a single.

Hauschel struck out seven Trojans while picking up the pitching win.

"We were able to get some guys on base and got the big hit in three of the innings and Braden had a no-hitter through five and he was dealing and our offense was there when we needed it,'' Mastin said. 

Washburn Rural will be at home Friday to host perennial Class 5A state power Seaman while Topeka High will host Centennial League foe Manhattan at Hummer Sports Park.



Topeka High       000 000 0 -- 0 1 1

Washburn Rural 023 030 x -- 8 7 1

Stamper, Williams (4), Delagao (6) and Gonzales. Hauschel, Ansley (6) and Wells. W -- Hauschel. L -- Stamper. 2B -- Topeka High: Accosta. Washburn Rural: Fenton, Blankenship, Omitt. 3B -- Washburn Rural: DeWeese.



Topeka High (5-1, 1-1)       000 011 0 -- 2 5 0

Washburn Rural (2-3, 1-1)  000 000 0 -- 0 3 0

Plankinton and Gonzales. Ailslieger, Dowell and Wells. W -- Plankinton. L -- Ailslieger. 2B -- Topeka High: Genrich. 

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