Veterans to lead Cubs in Leavenworth League
As Lonnie Hansen trotted back to the dugout after grounding out in his first at-bat Tuesday, the 2005 Lansing High graduate flashed a tired smile.
"These bases got a lot farther since last year," he said with a laugh.
Hansen hadn't played baseball since last summer, but the Kansas City Kansas Community College student is back on the field and playing catcher this summer for the Lansing Cubs.
Initially, Hansen said he didn't think he'd play summer baseball because he is working multiple jobs, but he said he was glad he opted to play. Although the Cubs were swept by the Leavenworth Knights 8-7 and 3-0, Hansen's game hadn't lost a beat. He was 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles in the opener.
"Today was awesome," he said. "I'd forgotten what it was like to be on the field, and I love it. The guys I'm playing with, I met a lot of them a week and a half ago, but we stepped on the field and played like a baseball team. I'm excited about the guys here. I'm excited to see what happens."
Hansen also is excited to be joined by fellow 2005 LHS graduate Conn Blakley. Blakley also played his first game since last summer. He ripped a run-scoring single as a pinch hitter in the first game. He then struck out 10 as the starting pitcher in game two.
Blakley said he was glad to be back, too.
"It feels awesome," he said. "I miss this feeling."
Cody Mohan started in game one and struck out 13 batters.
The Cubs next play at 6 p.m. Saturday at Sportsfield.