LHS splits with SFT
Lions respond after Blakley’s injury and earn quality victory
It would have been easy for the Lansing High baseball team to fall apart Monday evening after being whipped by Santa Fe Trail, 14-1 in game one of their doubleheader.
It would have been easy for the Lions to be rattled by being one-hit in the first game.
It would have been easy to give up.
The Lions didn't take the easy way out, though. Instead, they got angry and decided to get even. The end result was an 8-2 Lansing victory in game two.
"We challenged the kids between games to see what they were made of," LHS coach Terry Stueve said, "and they responded."
Junior Jeff Terrill started game one on the mound but was hurt by a pair of errors, a double and a single that helped SFT score three early runs.
Lansing answered in the bottom of the first when junior Chris Wagner laced a triple into the gap in right-center. He then scored on a passed ball. At that point LHS trailed 3-1, but Wagner's triple turned out to be the Lions' only hit of the game.
Terrill retired the Chargers in order in the second and third innings, but then they heated up with six hits in the fourth inning and plated six runs. Junior Mike Amaral came on in relief in the fifth and later was replaced by Matt Mowery as the pair combined to allow five more runs in the 14-1 run-rule loss.
"That first game we were just dead and flat," Stueve said. "They wanted to win, but they weren't showing it."
Senior Conn Blakley started on the mound in game two and was solid early. He held SFT to one run and struck out three in the first 2 2/3 innings before giving up back-to-back singles. The second single - a sharp one-hopper back to the mound by Justin Collins - drilled Blakley in the nose and he crumpled to the ground. After about two minutes he stood under his own power and immediately was taken to the hospital.
Junior Cody Mohan came on in relief and allowed just one run in the final 4 1/3 innings.
As accurate as Mohan was, he received plenty of support from the LHS offense and made sure Blakley's injury wasn't in vain.
"Cody came in and threw strikes. We got ground balls and we got out of the inning," Stueve said. "From there we scored a couple runs and we just got it going."
Curtis Burgoon doubled and scored in the second to tie the game at 1-1 before Blakley's injury in the following half-inning.
The Lions regrouped and began to click on all cylinders. In the bottom of the third, Wagner and Amaral were issued back-to-back walks. Burgoon followed with an RBI-single. Then, with Mike Bayless at the plate, Amaral got caught leading off second base too far. That's when things got nutty.
Amaral broke for third and dove into the bag. SFT shortstop Todd Fannin tagged him with his glove but had the ball in his bare hand, meaning Amaral was not out. As Fannin argued with the umpire, Amaral got to his feet and sprinted home. When Fannin threw home, Burgoon advanced to third base. Bayless then singled and scored Burgoon. LHS led 4-1 and never looked back.
"That was big," Stueve said of the wild series that worked to Lansing's advantage. "I think that's what got it all going, and you kind of saw Santa Fe get down a little bit. Then they were starting to be not as patient at the plate, wanting to do something right away, and our guys just fed off that."
The Lions plated four more runs in the bottom of the fourth as Wagner, Burgoon, John Tytla and Bayless all scored and put the game out of reach.
Lansing (4-2) next plays at 4:30 p.m. Thursday when Perry-Lecompton visits the LHS field.
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