THS climbs back into win column
Baseball team beats PLHS for first win, but drops heartbreakers to Lions
The Tonganoxie baseball team made a fashion statement Thursday against Perry-Lecompton in Tonganoxie.
High socks are finally "in."
THS coach John Lee wouldn't let his players pull up their baseball pants and showcase their high socks until they won a game. Tonganoxie won game two against the Kaws, 9-3, and registered their first win of the season after going 0-13.
After the game, the team congregated on the pitchers' mound and the Chieftains altered their wardrobes.
"That's the fun thing about winning," Lee said. "All the intangibles you don't get when you're losing."
The Chieftains scored first in the second game when Zach Sanders hit a three-run home run over the right field fence. Tonganoxie had a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the sixth, and the Chieftains scored four runs in that inning and preserved their first win.
The first game appeared as though it would be Tonganoxie's first mark in the win column, but the Kaws erupted in the fourth and fifth innings and claimed a 17-12 win.
Early on, Kyle Mayse fueled the offense. The junior, though, couldn't find a happy medium with his bat.
After two bunt attempts went foul, Mayse belted a ball over the left field fence. Mayse's shot was a three-run home run, part of a four-run first inning.
The Chieftains had three runs in the second and one in the third for an 8-3 lead after three.
"It was a mixed emotion," Lee said. "It was great to get our first win, but it was also embarrassing to lose the first game in the fashion we did."
The win, though, came before two heartbreakers. Tonganoxie lost its doubleheader at Lansing on Monday, 4-3 and 10-9.
THS rallied with three runs in the top of the seventh at LHS.
The Chieftains were down to their final out when Kirk Rodell hit a single, Pat Weyer reached base on an error and Matt Alexander loaded the bases with a walk. Zach Sanders then hit a double down the right field line, but the game ended in the next at-bat with a fly to right field.
In game two, the Lions jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second, but Tonganoxie answered with three in the third. Later trailing 7-3, THS generated three runs, again with two outs, in the fifth. Another three-run two-out sequence occurred in the top of the seventh, and Tonganoxie had a 9-7 lead.
But although the bats were working, the defense couldn't hold on in the seventh, and Lansing had a 10-9 win.
"I think the kids felt they played looser," Lee said. "Every kid contributed."
Sanders and David Saultz both went 4-for-7 against the Lions. Alexander went five innings, giving up two earned runs and seven hits.
The Chieftains will finish out the regular season with home games against De Soto on Thursday and Pleasant Ridge on Monday.