Lions bash Basehor
11-run inning highlights twinbill sweep
Basehor Lansing High baseball coach Terry Stueve maintains the belief that his Lions have yet to play a complete doubleheader at the top of their game.
The Lions weren't perfect Monday, either, but at times they were darn close and Stueve found plenty of reasons to smile about their twinbill sweep of Basehor-Linwood at the Basehor Field of Dreams.
LHS (10-4) captured game one 5-3 in 10 innings and then cruised to an 18-8 victory in the nightcap.
"We still haven't played a full day," Stueve said. "That first game we went 10 innings. We just haven't put together two games yet."
Lansing jumped to an early lead in game one as Chris Wagner reached base on an error and scored on Curtis Burgoon's single in the top of the first inning. The lead was pushed to 3-0 in the top of the third when Lonnie Hansen and Cody Mohan reached base on back-to-back walks and later scored on errors.
Basehor capitalized on errors in the bottom of the third and logged two runs, but Mohan then returned to his dominant ways on the mound and silenced the Bobcats until the bottom of the seventh. Basehor took advantage of another miscue and tied the game. Neither team scored in the next two innings, although Wagner was robbed of a three-run homer in the top of the ninth when his two-out blast to left field was caught as it flew over the fence.
The Lions finally pounced in the top of the 10th when Conn Blakley led off with a double into the gap in right-center field. He then advanced to third when Burgoon bunted his way on base. John Tytla loaded the bases when he was intentionally walked. Mike Bayless followed with a sacrifice fly that was deep enough for Blakley to score and give LHS a 4-3 lead. Matt Mowery and Hansen then were hit with back-to-back pitches. Hansen's beaning forced a run home for the 5-3 lead.
Wagner took the mound in the bottom of the 10th and earned the save.
Lansing had just four hits in the first game but all came in clutch situations. Five Bobcat errors also contributed to the LHS victory.
"We've had a lot of trouble getting going in our first games," Hansen said, "but once we get rolling we're an unstoppable team. Once everybody's there and everyone's playing, nobody can beat us."
Game two was much more crisp for the Lions. The bats that struggled at times during game one suddenly were popping. Wagner, Blakley and Burgoon ripped consecutive singles and all three later scored. Wagner scored on Burgoon's hit while Blakley and Burgoon both came home when Tytla smashed a drive deep to the right-center gap that was dropped by the Basehor centerfielder.
The Bobcats rallied with two runs in the bottom of the first and then took a 4-3 lead with two more runs in the bottom of the second.
LHS took the lead for good in the top of the fourth, though, as it plated four runs in the inning behind six base hits.
"We were hitting the ball. That's what makes me happy," Stueve said. "Some of those were off errors, but we strung three, four hits together."
Basehor chipped back into the game with a run in each of the next two innings and pulled within 7-6.
Just as soon as the Bobcats issued their threat, however, the Lions silenced them with an offensive onslaught for the ages. Fifteen LHS batters stepped to the plate in the inning and the Lions plated 11 runs which effectively put the game out of reach.
"The big leads are huge," Hansen said. "All through the season we've had close games with teams that we've really played down to, and when you finally get a better team - Basehor was a little bit better - we were able to really put it away like the true Lansing Lions can do it."
Blakley's bat was a major subject of conversation Monday. He went 5-for-5 at the plate in game two and caused some parents to debate if his batting average was higher than his 3.0 grade point average. His hitting was even more impressive considering the fact he injured his thumb earlier in the day while playing softball in P.E.
"I guess when you get hurt you swing better," Blakley quipped of the injury.
Wagner was 4-for-5 and Mohan and Burgoon ripped three hits apiece in the game. Jeff Terrill threw the first three innings and Mike Amaral threw the last three in the victory. Amaral saw his longest outing of the season and was impressive as he struck out four and gave up only two earned runs.
The Lions next play at 4 p.m. Thursday against Piper on Senior Day at LHS field. They'll then play at 4 p.m. Friday at Atchison.