Archive for Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cubs upend Outlaws

July 13, 2006

For 19 straight games - including the last three against the Lansing Cubs - the Easton Outlaws played flawlessly in the Leavenworth Baseball League.

Game 20, however, was much different. After losing to the Outlaws 6-1 and 8-0 on Thursday and 10-3 in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader, the Cubs erupted for a 10-0 run-rule victory in four innings at Padilla Field.

"It was just a matter of bearing down," Cubs coach Michael Smith said, explaining how his squad shook off three straight losses to the Outlaws.

The Cubs certainly needed to bear down. They played well in their first game Thursday before falling flat in the nightcap. Sunday's opener was a continuation of those struggles as the Outlaws used a five-run sixth inning to blow the game open. A two-run homer by Matt Mowery and a double by John Tytla were the Cubs' lone sources of offense in game one.

"They came in after that big inning, and I told them that this is where we usually throw it in," Smith said. "I told them, 'We've got another inning to play. Do you want to tell them we quit?' And they decided they wanted to come out and play. They answered the call."

Instead of quitting, the Cubs fired back with a vengeance. Cody Mohan took the mound in game two and dazzled from the start. He went the distance and allowed just two hits to go with six strikeouts.

"Before the game, Cody said 'Hey, I'm pitching a web gem.' And he pretty much did," Smith said.

The rest of the Cubs matched Mohan's effort with their performance at the plate. They scored all 10 of their runs in one giant second-inning eruption. Lonnie Hansen, Dexter Adams and Jacob Hansen started off the inning with consecutive walks. Nick Savidge reached on an error and Lonnie Hansen scored. Tylor McNeill ripped a run-scoring single. Mohan walked. Conn Blakley laced a two-run double into the gap. Matt Mowery singled. Levi Riddle was hit by a pitch. Lonnie Hansen singled and scored Mowery. Adams walked again. Two more runs scored on an overthrow when Jacob Hansen reached base on a dropped third strike. That capped the offensive barrage and put the game out of reach.

"Everybody stepped up," Smith said. "We had most of the veterans this time, but some of the younger guys stepped up, too."

The Cubs (9-11) next play Tonganoxie at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.

CUBS DROP TWO IN THURSDAY series

The Lansing Cubs dropped two games to the Easton Outlaws Thursday night at Lansing High. The Outlaws won the opener, 6-1, and then cruised to an 8-0 victory in the nightcap.

John Tytla started on the mound for Lansing in the opener, and for the most part he was impressive in his first outing of the summer. He consistently threw strikes and walked just three batters in seven innings.

The trouble for Lansing was twofold. First, an overgrown infield made it difficult to field grounders. Second, the defense didn't make plays when it had opportunities. Easton took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after a two-out grounder redirected off some overgrowth in the infield dirt. That runner later scored. The Outlaws plated four more runs in the fourth inning - all unearned - off of two hits and three errors. Lansing scored its lone run in the bottom of the fourth when Robert Lewis walked and came around to score. Easton added an insurance run in the seventh.

Game two was never in question. The Cubs struggled to hit, and the Outlaws capitalized on every opportunity they were given. They plated four runs in the third inning thanks to three walks and an error. That put the game out of reach early.

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