Starting pitchers dominate
Doug Schneider and Brandon Harsh took care of business Thursday in two wins against Gardner-Edgerton.
Tonganoxie's starting pitchers combined for 16 strike outs in 11 innings.
Schneider started the season opener and pitched a seven-inning complete game. He gave up only four hits and two runs.
The pitching gem was almost wasted, however, as Tonganoxie's offense was absent for much of the game.
"We didn't hit the ball real well in the first game," said Chris Herron, Tonganoxie High School baseball coach.
Kyle Rodell drew a two-out walk in the third inning and stole second base. Harsh singled, driving Rodell in for the Chieftains first run of 2000.
Then, with Schneider's great effort in danger, Tonganoxie scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh and won the game 3-2.
Jared Walters led off the seventh with a single. Ryan Lowe singled and Rodell drew another base on balls. Harsh hit a pop up to the pitcher, but Zach Sanders came through with a two-run double.
Despite the lack of offense, Herron said he was pleased with how the team played in the opener.
"Schneider, he was the man on the hill," Herron said.
The second game of the day didn't lack offense. Tonganoxie jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and scored in every inning but the fifth.
Harsh gave up only three hits while striking out seven in four complete innings. He did have control problems, hitting two batters and walking three Gardner-Edgerton players, but the base runners didn't hurt him.
Tonganoxie had a dominating 12-2 lead when Harsh left the game. Gardner-Edgerton, however, made it exciting. A seven-run fifth closed the gap to 12-9.
The bottom of the order responded by adding some insurance runs for Tonganoxie.
Sanders, batting eighth, led off the sixth with a single. Kyle Wedel followed with a single. Lead-off hitter Rodell walked, and all three runners ended up scoring.
Gardner-Edgerton scratched out another run in the seventh, but it wasn't enough. Tonganoxie won 15-10.
Tonganoxie hitters had 14 hits and 14 walks in 70 trips to the plate Friday.
Rodell stole five bases including four in the second game.Jared Walters hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning of the second game.
The team will take its two-game winning streak into a grueling schedule this week and next. Games on consecutive days will test Tonganoxie's pitching depth.
Tonganoxie's first league game will be next week against Perry-Lecompton.
The varsity plays at 4 p.m. Thursday at Jefferson West. The varsity plays at 4 p.m. Monday against Jefferson West. The varsity plays at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against Perry-Lecompton.
The junior varsity played at Tri-City Christian Tuesday.
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