Cavalry eager for challenge at Lawrence Tournament
The Lansing Cavalry AAA American Legion baseball team will open play at the Lawrence Tournament at noon today with very little preparation.
The lack of practice or game time isn't for a lack of trying, however. It's because of a lack of field availability. After all, when a team's field turns into a swamp and it has two doubleheaders rained out, there's not much it can do.
"We started both games but ended up getting rained out," Cavalry coach Jake Hanson said of the two series. "A lot of the players worked on the field for a while and tried to get it ready. It was kind of a nightmare."
The Thursday twinbill with Ottawa was washed out midway through the second inning of game one with the game tied 1-1. Sunday's doubleheader with Gardner barely lasted an inning before storms came.
The Ottawa series will not be rescheduled. The Gardner twinbill will be made up July 12 at Gardner, Hanson said.
The Cavalry (4-0) were scheduled to play a doubleheader at Ozawkie on Wednesday night for their last tune-up before playing the Lawrence Outlaws at noon today in the first game of the Lawrence Tournament. Lansing also will play Olathe East at 5:30 p.m. today. The Cavalry will play at 10 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday and possibly again Sunday if they advance far enough in the tournament.
Hanson said he expected the Lawrence Tournament to be as difficult a test as his squad would see all summer. Most of the participating teams have players from 6A schools such as Lawrence High School, Free State High School and Olathe East. There even will be a team from Lincoln, Neb.
"It'll be a good test," Hanson said. "Realistically, those are the size schools we're going to be going up against in the Zone Tournament, so they'll get an idea where we need to be because it'll be exactly a month before we start Zones."
Hanson said he likely would have Cody Mohan pitch the first game and Conn Blakley throw against Olathe East. After that, Hanson said, it most likely would be pitcher-by-committee with a variety of guys throwing a few innings. Possible pitchers could include Jeff Terrill, Mike Amaral and Matt McMillin, who all bring experienced and effective arms to the mound.
Hanson said he was confident all of his pitchers could do a good job. The key, he said, would be for the defense behind them to play flawless baseball.
"They've got a lot of confidence now," Hanson said, "but they know with the teams we're going to be playing, if we don't play pretty clean we're going to have our work cut out for us."