Bonner Springs baseball begins season with split against Lansing
Bonner Springs baseball players huddled together after Monday’s double header against Lansing on Monday.
The team had just traveled 16 miles up the highway under first-year coach Scott Lero and split with Lansing High School, winning the first game 3-2 before losing in the second game, 12-2, in five innings.
While the loss stung, Lero didn’t want it to diminish how well his team played in the opener
Lero looked at his team of players who have begun this journey of a season together and put the games into perspective.
“I just told them it is tough to leave the field with a loss like that after the feeling we had of winning the first game tonight,” he said.
In what was a night of both good and bad performances by his team, Lero chose to focus on the positives in the first game.
Bonner Springs pitched well, played strong defense and recorded timely hits to defeat the Lions.
Through the first three innings, the teams remained scoreless. Finally, in the fourth inning, the Braves scored two runs. Shawn Jones and Gonzalo Pichardo reached base with singles. With runners on first and third, the Braves attempted a double steal and Johnson scored. Logan Terrell followed with a single to give the team a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, Jones reached base and scored on a base hit by Pichardo.
“That is what you pay those guys to do,” Lero said, facetiously referring to the middle of his order that proved to be effective run producers in the game.
Lansing scored two runs in the fifth inning, but the Braves would hold on for the victory.
Sergio Valenzuela pitched and earned the victory for the Braves. Austin Clouse pitched in relief and earned the save.
In the second game, Lansing’s Brad Brown hit home runs in the first and second innings. The home runs helped Lansing score four runs in the first inning and five in the second, giving the Lions an early, and insurmountable 9-0 lead.
“In the second game, I think we played better and the homers that we hit early allowed us to relax and play,” Lansing coach Harley Douglass said. “We have a long way to go, I am not saying we are young, but we are inexperienced at the varsity level. We are just going to have to get after it and get it figured out.”
Lansing pitchers and hitters were able to relax and close out the game.
Lansing went on to win 12-2 in five innings. Lero said the early deficit made a difference in the way his team pitched and what it was trying to accomplish at the plate. In that situation, he said players can try to do too much in a single at-bat.
The Braves never scored more than one run in an inning during the game.
Bonner Springs scored its first run in the fourth inning when Gonzalo Pichardo launched a home run over the left field fence.
Bonner Springs added another run in the fifth inning. Lansing, though, scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to win the game.
Bonner Springs (1-1) will host a doubleheader against Piper at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 29.