Cavalry fall to Ozawkie
On Wednesday it seemed the Lansing Cavalry were on the verge of posting an impressive winning streak after they pasted Basehor-Linwood in a pair of blowout victories.
A winning streak never followed, however. Instead, the Cavalry dropped three straight games Saturday at the Burlington Tournament before bouncing back to win two games Sunday.
Another loss was right around the corner Monday when Lansing dropped an 8-2 decision to Ozawkie at Lansing High School.
"I think they did a good job still hustling," Cavalry coach Jake Hanson said. "I think maybe their minds weren't quite in it. I don't think it necessarily showed on the field, because they are making some improvements communicating, but in the dugout we didn't have the pep that we usually have in there."
The lack of pep could be attributed to a few things, Hanson said. For starters, the Cavalry (10-7) have been nursing injuries to about half their roster. Second, a long weekend of games in 95-plus-degree heat left pretty much everybody exhausted by the time they arrived back in Lansing late Sunday night.
"I guess we've just been a little tired from trying hard every game," left fielder Mike Bayless said. "This day off though, we'll get it back for Wednesday."
The Cavalry next play at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Ottawa. After that they'll have a full week off to rest, refocus and heal.
Hanson said he hopes his squad improves plenty from Monday's loss on a night when very little went right for Lansing.
Center fielder Tom Kohl led off the first inning with a single, but that was the Cavalry's lone hit in the first seven innings of the nine-inning contest. In the meantime, Ozawkie scored one run in the second inning off an error and added six more in the fifth inning off six hits, two walks and an error.
One of the few early bright spots for the Cavalry was the pitching of LHS sophomore-to-be Kyle Hutchison.
Hutchison, making his first start of the summer, threw 4 1/3 innings. He allowed just three hits and one run in the first four innings before things got away from him in the top of the fifth. Mike Amaral, Johnny Stratton and Conn Blakley added strong innings of relief on the mound.
"I was very impressed with Kyle on the mound today," Hanson said. "The stats aren't going to show it, but I thought he made some good pitches. He kept the guys off balance. He kept his wits about him out there. He didn't seem all that nervous. I think he's got a real future on the mound. His arm's going to get stronger. He did a good job throwing strikes."
Ozawkie pushed its lead to 8-0 with a run in the top of the eighth before the Cavalry finally responded.
Lansing scored its only runs of the game in the bottom of the eighth. Matt McMillin led off the inning by reaching base on an error. Then Tom Kohl ripped a single to right-center field. Bayless followed with a single that loaded the bases. McMillin then scored on Cody Mohan's ground out. Kohl scored on a single by Blakley.
Hanson said he is excited for Wednesday's showdown against Ottawa. He said he is anticipating an energized effort from his squad.
"If we come out and play well then these guys are going to keep their interest over the break and then come back ready to go. They need to be looking forward to coming back out and playing, so Wednesday is going to be huge."