Lions sweep Bobcats on Senior Night
Pair of 11-1 victories give LHS confidence entering postseason play
Lansing High's final baseball doubleheader of the season couldn't have gone much better.
"That was just what the doctor ordered," LHS coach Troy Andrews said after his squad finished off sweeping Basehor-Linwood with a pair of 11-1 victories Monday at LHS Field. "That's what we needed tonight. We got a good pitching performance from those two guys - which is good because one of them will probably start game one of the regional - so that's what we needed out of them. They both did great, and then we had the bats come alive and we scored a lot of runs. That was perfect. That's what we needed."
Senior Jeff Terrill threw a six-hitter in game one and consistently threw strikes. Cody Mohan was equally effective in the nightcap as he allowed just three hits and struck out eight batters.
The bats also were red-hot all night. Lansing pounded 27 hits in 11 innings of baseball. The brightest part of it was that the top of the order started to regain its groove. After struggling for most of the last three weeks, Mike Bayless, Mohan, Chris Wagner and Terrill went a combined 17-for-27 at the plate against Basehor.
"We're really starting to open up now," said Bayless, who was 3-for-3 in game one. "We're seeing the ball a lot better. We're just hitting stride at the right time."
Game one got off to an emotional start when senior Mike Amaral made what will be his only appearance of the season when he started in right field. Amaral was expected to be one of Lansing's top pitchers this year, but he tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament a week before the season-opener. Monday was Senior Night, so Andrews decided to insert Amaral into the starting lineup.
"It was probably the happiest moment this season that I could possibly have," Amaral said. "Being out there with my seniors and my team again, it was the most amazing feeling I think I'll have this season. I'll never forget it. I almost started crying. I couldn't have asked for better."
After working out of a jam in the top of the first inning when Lansing forced Basehor to strand two runners on base, the Lions stepped to the plate and seized control of the game immediately. Bayless earned a leadoff walk. Mohan doubled to right-center and plated Bayless. Wagner singled to left field. Terrill hit a bloop single to left that scored Mohan. Kyle Miller was hit by a pitch. Wagner scored when Jordan Pratt walked. Terrill scored on a wild pitch. Johnny Stratton walked. Then Tylor McNeill smacked a two-run single. All of that happened before an out was recorded. The Lions had a 7-0 lead and were on cruise control.
Terrill was steady the rest of the way on the mound and Basehor never threatened. The Bobcats capitalized on a two-out triple to score their lone run in the fourth inning, but the Lions answered with two more runs in the bottom of the inning when Bayless ripped an RBI-single and later scored on a double by Mohan. Stratton and McNeill hit back-to-back doubles to start off the sixth inning. Bayless' RBI-single to left allowed McNeill to score and cap the run-rule victory.
Bayless and Wagner were 3-for-3 in the game and Mohan went 2-for-3. Stratton and McNeill had two hits apiece.
Basehor took its lone lead of the day when it went on top 1-0 in the top of the first inning in game two. The lead didn't last long, though. Bayless, Mohan, Wagner and Terrill recorded consecutive singles to start the bottom half of the inning. Terrill's allowed Bayless and Mohan to score and give Lansing a 2-1 lead.
The Lions scored six more runs in the second inning. Two of them crossed the plate on Terrill's two-run triple. Two more scored when Pratt smashed a two-run homer. The Lions scored twice in the fourth and once in the sixth to cap the run-rule victory.
With the wins, LHS improved to 13-7 on the season. The Lions will open regional play next week - most likely on Tuesday. They will learn what seed they will be and who they will face in the regional tournament when the brackets are announced Saturday morning.
Lansing likely will be either a No. 2- or No. 3-seed in the regional tournament.
"We helped ourselves today big-time," Andrews said, noting that the two wins against Basehor likely would prevent Lansing from slipping to the No. 4-seed and having to play 2005 state runner-up Shawnee Heights in Topeka.