Reds 2nd at Belton Tourney
It took the Lansing Reds nearly a month to pick up their first victory of the season, but once they got one, they weren't satisfied.
The Reds (3-14) rattled off three straight victories last weekend at a baseball tournament in Belton, Mo., and placed second overall. The three-game winning streak was sandwiched between a pair of losses to tournament champion Eudora.
"We just started jelling a little bit," Reds coach Troy Andrews said. "We put the bat on the ball. We scored runs. We played a little defense. We pitched well. All in all, it wasn't too bad."
In the tournament opener, Lansing hung tough with Eudora for a while. The game was tied 5-5 after two innings before the Cardinals pulled away for a 10-6 victory. Paul Sargent went 3-for-3 with a double in the loss for the Reds. Kris Hernandez was 2-for-3.
Motivated by the close loss to Eudora, Lansing turned its effort up a notch against the Kansas City Dodgers. Two singles by Peter Gibson and a two-run double by Cameron Trowbridge highlighted a seven-run first inning as the Reds coasted to a 13-3 victory. Kyle Hutchison gave a solid effort on the mound in collecting the run-rule victory.
After winning handily against the Dodgers, the Reds earned a close win against the Lee's Summit Tornados before squeaking past the Dodgers again.
Against Lee's Summit, Lansing rode the strong arm of Shea Goodnature as he threw 4 2/3 solid innings. Hernandez came on to earn the save in a 5-4 victory. Elias Moya went 2-for-3 at the plate in the victory, including a two-run single.
In a rematch with the Dodgers, the Reds used a two-run single by Hernandez to take the lead before holding on for a 5-3 victory. Horseman threw five strong innings without allowing any earned runs. Hernandez picked up the save.
The rematch with Eudora in the finals wasn't nearly as competitive as the earlier meeting. The Cardinals handed the Reds a 12-2 run-rule loss. The game was tight until the third inning when five errors led to eight runs for the Cardinals.
"We had several hits in the final," Reds assistant coach Jake Hanson said. "We had four hits in a row at one point, and we had three hits in a row in the fourth inning. We just had one bad inning where errors cost us."
The Reds play today at a tournament at Free State High School in Lawrence. The tournament runs through Sunday. Unlike three weeks ago when the Reds participated in another Lawrence tournament, this one will feature teams that are all 16-and-under like the Reds.
Andrews said he hoped the Reds would build off last weekend's success when they take the field today.
"I'm hoping we carry that over into playing a little bit tougher teams," he said. "If you can go to Lawrence and win a couple games, you know you're making strides."