Archive for Thursday, June 15, 2006

Reds seek first win at Belton Tournament

June 15, 2006

Twelve games into a summer baseball schedule best described as a gauntlet, the Lansing Reds still seek their first victory.

The Reds hope that elusive victory will come today when they begin play in the Belton Tournament in Belton, Mo.

"It's our first USSSA tournament," Reds coach Troy Andrews said. "It's not a legion-only tournament, so we'll see a lot of new faces. We'll get out of town, see some different people in Missouri and hopefully win a few games."

The summer has been difficult for the Reds so far. The 16-and-under American Legion team has played a rugged schedule against mostly older competition. That was the case Saturday when they dropped a pair of 10-2 decisions at St. Joe. It was the case again Sunday when the Reds lost 9-1 and 10-1 to an 18-and-under Paola squad.

Lansing played host to Piper's 16-and-under team Monday at Lansing High, but the Reds again came up emptyhanded. They took a 3-1 lead after three innings in game one, but an error allowed the Pirates to plate two runs and tie the game in the seventh inning. Then, the Pirates scored seven times in the top of the ninth before holding on for a 10-4 victory.

The nightcap was over quickly. Piper scored three runs in the second inning and six more in the third before Lansing answered with a run by Peter Gibson in the bottom of the third. A four-run fourth inning allowed the Reds to pull within 10-5, but the Pirates scored three more runs in the fifth inning for a 13-4 victory.

After a near-miss in the first game against Piper, Andrews said he is confident his squad is on the verge of breaking into the wins column and believes it will happen this weekend.

"We haven't got that one win yet, but we are making strides forward and we are getting better," he said. "We've been making baby steps, and hopefully this weekend we'll get over that hump and get that first win. Hopefully that will get things going in the right direction for us."

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