Their first game in the Emporia Invitational began at 7 a.m. Sunday. Their last game ended at 1:30 a.m. Monday.
"We almost made it to 24 hours," quipped Shaun Edmondson, coach of the Raiders Legion baseball team, "because we didn't get home until after 3 a.m."
Not that the elongated Sunday schedule forced by Saturday rainouts seemed to faze the Raiders. When the meet finally ended in the wee hours of Monday morning, they were the champions.
Caleb Gress tossed a six-inning one-hitter, fanning 17, as the Raiders blanked host Emporia, 11-0, in the title contest that started at 11:45 p.m. Sunday.
Gress, a left-hander who graduated from Free State High in May, allowed a line single in the second inning and a soft liner to second base. Otherwise, he struck out every other batter he faced to lift his record to 5-3.
"When he's on, he's dominant," Edmondson said of Gress, "and he was definitely on."
Matthew Abel sparked the attack with a pair of hits, including his fourth inside-the-park home run. Abel also stole three bases. Travis Sanders added a two-run triple.
In the 7 a.m. game, the Raiders run-ruled the Wichita Bosox, 11-1. Drew Hulse fanned five in going the route. Hunter Scheib, Aaron Rea and Jake Green collected two hits apiece.
Then, after a short break, the Raiders tangled with the Topeka Capitals, bowing 6-5 but qualifying for the championship game nonetheless. Clint Pinnick and Green had two hits apiece.
The Raiders (21-14) are scheduled to travel tonight to Parkville, Mo., for a doubleheader against the K.C. Royals. On Wednesday night, the Raiders will meet the K.C. Barnstormers in another twinbill at 6 p.m. at Ice Field.