Archive for Thursday, April 20, 2006

LHS cruises to two wins against Atchison

McMillin, Pratt smash two-run homers in nightcap

April 20, 2006

No matter when the Lansing High baseball team plays Atchison, the Lions still have the Redmen's number.

For the second year in a row, the teams' doubleheader was rescheduled because of rain, and for the second year in a row the Lions dominated the matchup with a series sweep. Lansing took game one by a 12-2 score. It then ran away with a 17-4 victory in game two Wednesday afternoon at LHS.

Lansing High junior Matt McMillin is congratulated by his teammates after hitting a two-run home run against Atchison.

Lansing High junior Matt McMillin is congratulated by his teammates after hitting a two-run home run against Atchison.

Sophomore Johnny Stratton went the distance on the mound in game one and allowed just five hits. He only faced one jam. That cam in the fifth inning when Atchison's first batter reached on a single, the second walked and the third singled. Two runs scored, but Stratton closed the inning by forcing two pop-ups and a ground ball.

"We were about to make a move, and he gutted it up, threw some strikes and got batters out," LHS coach Troy Andrews said.

Stratton had plenty of support from the bats. Lansing scored twice in the first when Cody Mohan and Jeff Terrill both walked and scored. The Lions plated five more runs in the second as they strung together four straight hits.

After back-to-back scoreless innings by LHS, Atchison pulled within 7-2, but Lansing closed the game with a five-run fifth that completed the run-rule victory. Five of the first six batters of the inning got hits. The final run of the game came when Terrill scored on a passed ball.

"It got a little scary there when they got those two runs," Andrews said. "But we got focused at the plate, got some runs and came right back."

In a cloud of dust, Lansing High sophomore Kris Hernandez slides safely into home against Atchison.

In a cloud of dust, Lansing High sophomore Kris Hernandez slides safely into home against Atchison.

Andrews opted to give a few of his younger players some experience in the second game. He called up sophomores Kyle Hutchison and Kris Hernandez from the junior varsity to play Wednesday, and they rewarded their coach for his confidence.

Hutchison started on the mound and was a little rocky in the first inning. He gave up two hits and a walk that led to three runs, but he quickly settled down and got a ground ball and an infield fly to end the inning. A second-inning single and an error led to Atchison's only other run. Outside of that, Hutchison was on cruise control. He became more confident and more effective by the inning. That was evident when he faced the bases loaded and no outs in the third and then retired the next three batters - two by strikeout. Hernandez came on in relief for the final two innings and retired all six batters he faced.

The two new faces took care of business on the mound, but it was the veterans who did the most damage with the bats. Lansing plated nine runs in the bottom of the first inning - the first eight scored before an out ever was recorded - and the Lions quickly were in command of the game.

Mike Bayless and Mohan opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Chris Wagner smashed a two-run triple to right-center. Terrill singled. Kyle Miller and Jordan Pratt walked. Tylor McNeil ripped a single up the middle. Then Matt McMillin hit a towering two-run homer to left field that knocked Atchison's starter out of the game. Bayless walked and later scored in his second at-bat of the game to give LHS a 9-3 lead.

The Lions plated three more runs in the second inning and then added five more in the third. Also in the third, Pratt hit a two-run homer.

The 17 runs in game two was Lansing's highest run production of the season. LHS (6-4) will try to build on that momentum at 4:30 p.m. Thursday when it travels to Perry-Lecompton.

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