Bayless, Mowery guiding Cavalry into tourney
The Lansing Cavalry took their share of lumps during the Lawrence Tournament, but the AAA American Legion baseball team is anything but discouraged by the losses.
If anything, the Cavalry are ticked off.
After all, by going 1-3 at the tournament against four squads of players from Class 6A schools, the Cavalry discovered there really wasn't much difference between the big-school players and themselves at Class 5A Lansing High.
"We know we can compete with these teams," said Matt Mowery, a pitcher and first baseman for the Cavalry. "We've got a couple of things we need to work on, but I think we're doing great. We've got some hitting now in our four-, five-, and six-spot, so now we have it all the way up and down our lineup, and we know we can depend on our backup players."
The Cavalry received strong hitting performances throughout the weekend from Mowery (nine hits) and left fielder Mike Bayless (eight hits). Those hits always seemed to come at critical moments for Lansing, such as Bayless' run-scoring triple that ignited a rally Saturday against Olathe East.
"Bayless and Mowery, they're still staying hot at the plate," Cavalry coach Jake Hanson said. "Bayless has always been solid. He's very quiet about what he does."
Catcher Lonnie Hansen also had a busy weekend as he reached base seven times in the four-game stint. The last two were when he was beaned.
"Lonnie Hansen, he does the same thing every time. He gets on base," Hanson said of his recently graduated catcher. "That last time I thought he was cooked and he ends up getting on base.
The Cavalry will try to maintain their scorching bats Saturday and Sunday when they compete in the Burlington Tournament. The tournament will pit Lansing against teams from smaller towns. Mowery said the Cavalry will go in expecting to win the title and get back on the winning track.
"We've got a little chip on our shoulders : a little dust," he said with a sly grin. "But we'll get it off."
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