Lions keep marching
Senior sendoff on tap today with Piper twinbill
The buzz around Lansing High this morning likely will be about the Lions' baseball Senior Day doubleheader at 4 p.m. today against Piper at LHS field.
The Lions (10-4 overall, 3-3 Kaw Valley League) have given people plenty to chat about all season, though, as they've taken what was supposed to be a rebuilding year and turned it into another dream season of sorts.
LHS has yet to put together a perfect double-header and play back-to-back flawless games, but it's getting close. Game cancellations, rainouts and injuries jumbled up the early portion of the season, but the Lions haven't let anything distract them from the task at hand.
"We've had a lot of trouble getting going in our first games," senior catcher Lonnie Hansen said, "but once we get rolling we're an unstoppable team. Once everybody's there and everyone's playing, nobody can beat us."
The Lions hope that 'nobody' will include Piper after tonight. They shelled the Pirates in a twinbill last year but aren't taking anything for granted this time around.
"They're going to come out there and they're not going to take it easy on us," senior Conn Blakley said. "They're not going to roll over and let us beat them. It won't be an easy victory, but if we come out and hit the ball, play good defense andhave Chris (Wagner) pitch a good game then we'll be fine."
LHS coach Terry Stueve said he believes the Lions are ready to put a pair of good games together now. They've shown signs of coming around in recent weeks and Stueve said he is encouraged by the reemergence of senior Curtis Burgoon's bat. After struggling during the first month of the season, Burgoon consistently has been finding open gaps in the outfield and has piled up the RBIs. Blakley and senior John Tytla also have found their groove at the plate, while Wagner and junior Cody Mohan have been steady all season.
"We're hitting the ball. That's what makes me happy," Stueve said.
TERRILL BACK IN DUGOUT: Lansing High senior Jon Terrill joined his teammates in the dugout Monday during the Lions' doubleheader sweep at Basehor-Linwood. Terrill was injured in a car accident March 26 when he fell asleep at the wheel of his 2000 Explorer.
Terrill still has a collapsed lung and will be unable to play the remainder of the season, but he said he plans to be at every game that does not conflict with his rehabilitation.
STUEVE WON'T RETURN: Rumor has circulated in recent weeks that Stueve won't be back next year as Lansing's baseball coach. He confirmed those rumors Monday and said his players have been aware of the situation all season.
"The kids know," he said. "My wife just finished medical school to be a doctor, and she just got her residency in Salina."
Stueve will be moving to help his wife fulfill her dream. He said he doesn't know where he'll teach or if he'll be coaching baseball next year.
Stueve has compiled a 29-8 record as a head coach since taking over the LHS program last year.
AMARAL HEATING UP: Junior pitcher Mike Amaral saw minimal action early in the season, but the lanky right-hander has been called upon numerous times in recent weeks to take the mound. He had his best outing of the year Monday at Basehor when he struck out four batters in three innings of work. He is expected to start Friday at Atchison.