Reds fall to Mavericks at Zone Tournament
Hiawatha Tradition is a big deal to the summer baseball teams in Lawrence.
Regardless of the age group, the city's American Legion summer teams always are solid, and this year is no exception. The Lansing Reds found that out the hard way on Thursday as they dropped an 11-1 decision to the Lawrence Mavericks in four innings in the second round of the American Legion Class A Zone 1 Tournament at Noble Park.
The Mavericks scored seven runs in the top of the first inning on their way to a run-rule victory.
"Lawrence has a big tradition that's kind of overwhelming," Reds coach Dustin Myers said. "But we handled it pretty well."
In fact, the Reds didn't appear to be timid in any way. They mustered just three hits - two of them singles by Clay Pitsenbarger, but they also had a handful of line-drives that went right at Lawrence infielders.
The difference was that when the Mavericks made contact, they found open spaces. They also capitalized on a few walks and errors. They had four straight hits in the first inning. Two others reached on walks and one more on an error for the seven runs. They scored twice more in the second inning and added single runs in the third and fourth innings.
The Reds' lone score came in the bottom of the fourth. Mike McSweeney was plunked to start the inning. Pitsenbarger's two-out single to left brought McSweeney in to score.
The Reds (6-19) now fall into the loser's bracket. They next play at noon Saturday against Seneca in an elimination game. A victory there would land the Reds in an 8 p.m. game Saturday night.
The loser's bracket final is at 1 p.m. Sunday. The winner of that game will play for the Zone Tournament championship at 3 p.m. Sunday.
"Now's the fun part," Myers said. "Now we get to start ending teams' seasons and send them home. We get to start doing that at noon Saturday."