By Brad Hallier
Wichita, Kan. – The Hutchinson Monarchs survived pool play at this year’s NBC World Series, and they will continue their quest for their first title at 6 p.m. today.
The Monarchs start the eight-team, single-elimination bracket by taking on perennial power Seattle Studs in the third of four games at Wichita State’s Eck Stadium.
Both teams went 2-1 in pool play. The Monarchs finished second in Pool A, while the Studs won Pool B thanks to a tiebreaker.
The three-time champion Studs traditionally play late into the tournament. They have also finished second four times.
The Monarchs have been one of the best teams, statistically, so far. The team’s .337 batting average is second best in the World Series, and the 3.80 ERA is fifth best. They also are third in fielding percentage (.987).
Individually, the Monarchs’ Sawyre Thornhill is fourth in the World Series with a .636 batting average. His seven hits are third most. Alex Birge ranks second with six RBIs.
Brett Wiemers is expected to get the start on the mound for the Monarchs. The Pittsburg State right-hander is 3-1 with a 4.42 ERA. He has struck out 19 batters in 20 ⅓ innings. He will be opposed by Anthony Brady, a Northern Colorado graduate, who is 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 40 ⅔ innings.
Tickets can be bought at Eck Stadium and are good for the entire day, or online at www.nbcbaseball.org. Tickets start at $9, and for Thursday, all military and first responders get in free with a proper ID.