Cavalry eliminated from Zone Tournament
Heat finally takes its toll on third straight day of 100-degree weather
Paola It was a long, wild - and hot - ride, but after three sun-scorched days of baseball at the American Legion Class AAA Zone Baseball Tournament, the Lansing Cavalry finally were sent home.
Olathe South 15, Cavalry 3.
"They were a good hitting team and they had several guys that already had signed on to play in college," Cavalry coach Jake Hanson said of O-South. "But had we played well we probably could have given them a better game."
Hanson said his players struggled for a reason on Friday: they had exhausted themselves by playing three games in 100-degree heat during the previous two days. They dropped a 12-10 decision against Blue Valley West on Wednesday but then won a pair of games in dramatic fashion - 9-7 against Paola and 10-9 against West - on Thursday.
By Friday, the Cavalry simply were exhausted. It showed as they committed five errors and struggled to make contact at the plate.
"The way it was set up it would've been a pretty up-hill climb," Hanson said of his squad's chances of winning the Zone Tournament. "A lot of the guys weren't feeling well during the game. The heat finally got to everybody."
O-South jumped on Lansing starting pitcher Matt Mowery early, and the hits continued to come against relievers Johnny Stratton and Jeff Terrill.
"We were out in the field so long just baking," Hanson said. "If we could've got back in the dugout sooner that would've helped, but we were out there in the heat way too long."
Hanson said he was proud of the way his players competed throughout the tournament, though. The fact that they won two games on Thursday was pretty remarkable, he said, because of the heat and exhaustion that set in on his squad. Hanson said through it all his players remained focused and never counted themselves out.
"They battled through it and had good attitudes, but it was pretty tough conditions and they made us pay for our mistakes," Hanson said.
The Cavalry are slated to play again at 6 p.m. on Aug. 2 at Sportsfield against the Leavenworth Blue Sox.
Hanson said he is looking for an opponent for his squad to play between now and Aug. 2 so his team can play a few more games.