Cavalry to play host to Zone Tournament on Wednesday
Lansing squad has top seed in four-team tournament
The Lansing Cavalry have a busy week of baseball in store beginning Wednesday at the American Legion Class AAA Zone 1 Tournament at Lansing High School.
The Cavalry earned the top seed in the four-team, double-elimination tournament. The tournament will begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday when No. 2 Atchison plays No. 3 Blue Valley Northwest. No. 1 Lansing will play No. 4 Olathe South at 5:30 p.m. Winners of those games will meet at 8 p.m. Wednesday with a spot in the finals at stake.
Losers of the opening round games will battle through the back side of the bracket beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Zone Tournament championship is slated for 5:30 p.m. Friday. A second game will start at 8 p.m. if necessary because of the double-elimination rule.
Cavalry coach Jake Hanson said his team is excited to play at home, but he admitted the competition would be tough.
"We're going to have to face one of the big boys right off the bat," Hanson said of Olathe South, a typically strong Class 6A program during the high school season.
The Cavalry (20-8) have struggled a bit recently. Stiff competition has played a role in that - five-time defending state champions Bishop Ward handed the Cavalry two losses last week - and injuries have played a role, too. Shortstop Peter Gibson has been battling a hip flexor injury and outfielder Tylor McNeill has been playing with a hamstring injury.
Hanson said injuries haven't been the biggest problem, though. Instead, it has been a lack of consistency in the infield.
"Our infield defense has been real shady lately," Hanson said. "We just can't seem to field the ball and then throw them out. It's just not coming together right now."
Hanson said pitching has been a strength all summer. Both Johnny Stratton and Kris Hernandez own 4-0 records, and McNeill has one of the lowest earned run averages on the team. In addition, Hanson said Hernandez and Elias Moya both have been hitting the ball solid recently.
Here's a look at the tournament schedule:
Game 1: Atchison A's vs. Blue Valley Northwest Huskies, 3 p.m.
Game 2: Lansing Cavalry vs. Olathe South Senior Legion, 5:30 p.m.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 8 p.m.
Game 4: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 5:30 p.m.
Game 5: Game 4 winner vs. Game 3 loser, 8 p.m.
Game 6: Championship, Game 5 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 5:30 p.m.
Game 7: If necessary, Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser, 8 p.m.