Sluggers surging into post-season play
After a bumpy start, the Tonganoxie High School baseball team seems to have found its groove, winning four of its last six.
The Chieftains went 3-4 last week, including two wins over Immaculata on May 1.
In the first game the Chieftains had the momentum from the start, with leadoff batter Kyle Rodell taking the walk and stealing two bases to third. Kyle Wedel took the sacrifice to drive Rodell in.
"He is a big factor on our team if he gets on base, good things are going to happen," said Coach John Lee. "We generate runs by playing baseball. We're bunting, stealing bases. We just have a lot of fun playing the game."
The Chieftains scored two more runs in the first, and five in the second, on the way to their 9-4 victory.
Rodell had three steals in the game. Wedel, Matt Alexander and Pat Weyer had two RBIs each.
David Saultz took the win. He pitched all seven innings, gave up four hits and four walks, and struck out two.
The nightcap was a little closer, but the Chieftains were able to win it 6-4 despite only getting six hits.
Immaculata committed 17 errors in the two games.
Brad Reischman led the team in batting that game, going 2-2 from the plate, including a double.
Chuck Riddle took the game-two win. He gave up three hits, walked six and gave up four earned runs.
Two days after raiding Immaculata, the Chieftains were to face Lansing. But Thursday's rain cancelled that twin bill, so the team had to wait until Monday to play again.
On Monday, Tonganoxie and Pleasant Ridge were pretty evenly matched, and neither team could score through three innings.
But the Chieftains were able to put together some offense in the middle innings, getting a hit in the fourth, in fifth and the sixth.
Though Tonganoxie only had five hits, they were all the Chieftains needed to blank Pleasant Ridge, 3-0, in the opener.
Game two of the doubleheader should have been a fine examples of exciting high school baseball.
But, with the score was locked at seven in the game's second extra inning, a Pleasant Ridge base runner lifted his spikes as he was sliding into base.
He drove his spikes into Pat Weyer's leg. The player was ejected, along with his protesting assistant coach and a fan.
Weyer was helped as he limped off the field. Lee said Weyer would probably be all right.
"I haven't talked to him, but he's a pretty tough kid," Lee said.
Shortly after the incident, Pleasant Ridge scored and won the game, 8-7.
Lee said his team has shown good character throughout this tough season.
"I'm pretty proud of the players," Lee said. "Starting 0-10, they easily could have hung their heads, but they haven't."
Pairings for the regional tournament will be determined Saturday. First-round games begin Monday.