Four Lions honored by KVL baseball coaches
Four Lansing High baseball players have been recognized as some of the top players in the Kaw Valley League.
LHS seniors Cody Mohan, Chris Wagner, Mike Bayless and Jeff Terrill all were named to the All-Kaw Valley League team after helping Lansing to a third-place finish in the KVL and an appearance in the Class 5A state tournament.
Mohan was a first-team selection as a designated hitter. Wagner made first-team for the second straight year at shortstop. Bayless and Terrill both made the second team. Bayless was recognized for his play in center field and Terrill was honored for his play as a utility infielder.
"We had a good season and this kind of capped it off by getting those four seniors those honors," first-year LHS coach Troy Andrews said. "I think it's a big deal as far as the league goes. We play in a tough league. We got a state champion (Bishop Ward) out of it, we went to the state tournament and there were a couple of other teams that were a game short of getting there. You're dealing with a lot of good teams and a lot of good players, so to get two players on the first team is pretty impressive."
Mohan said the fact that so many players were recognized showed that other KVL coaches respect the program.
"That's saying something considering Mill Valley was ranked all year and Ward won their fourth straight state title," he said. "We didn't get the respect this year (in the state polls) in that we went unranked all year, but we didn't need it because we put ourselves out there and got to state."
"We're still a small 5A school, but by getting four guys on All-League and getting to state, it's going to put Lansing's name out there as a school that has a baseball program."
Wagner was Lansing's ace pitcher all year, but his record didn't show it because errors cost him a few victories. As a result, his play at shortstop glistened a bit more than his record on the mound. League coaches noticed that, Andrews said.
"He is one of the better infielders and one of the better pitchers in the league," Andrews said. "He pitched great for us, but his record wasn't that great because of an error here, and error there."
Wagner's recognition didn't surprise Andrews, but Mohan's did. Andrews said he knew Mohan was deserving of first-team recognition, but he didn't have a set position. As a result, he was nominated and recognized as a designated hitter.
"I really didn't have a spot to nominate him positionwise, because he played shortstop, he pitched, he played first base, and he may have even had a game when he played second base. He was everywhere," Andrews said. "Our league team doesn't have a utility position, but his bat saved him because he hit over .500 and had 37 hits on the season."
Terrill was in a similar position as Mohan in that Terrill played catcher, pitcher first base and designated hitter this season. He proved to be valuable in all roles, though, and other league coaches noticed that.
"Jeff filled a role wherever we needed him to play this year," Andrews said. "He played everywhere for us, and for the other coaches to see that he was deserving of second team, that really was a nice reward from the other coaches."
Bayless may have been as clutch of a player as Lansing had on its roster. Whether it was a diving catch, a precise throw from center field to nail a runner, or a timely hit, Bayless' ability to deliver landed him league honors.