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NBC champion Monarchs set to open 2024 season on Saturday

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By Brad Hallier

The Hutchinson Monarchs will open their 2024 season on Saturday at Haysville, but with a new title.

For the first time ever, the Hutchinson Monarchs enter a season as the reigning National Baseball Congress champions.

The Monarchs, now entering their 16th season, won their first NBC World Series last August at Wichita State’s Eck Stadium. They needed a late regular-season surge to earn a bid, and then the Monarchs ran rampant through the tournament, winning all six games, culminating with a 6-3 win over NBC blueblood Santa Barbara Foresters.

The Monarchs start their 34-game schedule with a pair of games Saturday against the Haysville Aviators on the road. The Monarchs will make their home debut at 7 p.m. Monday against Dirtbag Baseball.

Friday’s opener at Haysville was postponed due to rain.

One of the biggest nights of the home schedule is always Cancer Awareness Night. This season, the game will be June 15 against 316 Baseball.

The Monarchs are slated for 20 home games. The June 29 game against Dirtbag Baseball will be Ad Astra Radio Night.

Casey Lippoldt is back for his second season as Monarchs coach.

Five players are from the area, including Hutchinson native and Buhler High School alumnus Reed Scott, who closed out the Monarchs’ championship win. Also from the area is former Buhler standout pitcher Bradley Neill, who just finished a stellar career at Hutchinson Community College. Other area players are pitcher Derick Johnson (Inman), pitcher Camden Cornelius (Nickerson High School), and Drew Bugner (Andale).

Other HutchCC players with the Monarchs are pitcher Cole Toureau, the starting pitching hero from last year’s championship win, utility player Blake Bradford, and catcher Colin Cymbalista.