Legion opens season with split
Last year's Leavenworth County American Legion League regular season champion squared off against last year's tournament champion Monday in Tonganoxie.
And the showdown ended in a draw.
Tonganoxie, the defending regular season champ, defeated defending tourney champ Easton, 2-0, in the first game. The Outlaws, however, came back and won the second game, 8-2, against Tonganoxie.
John Volk pitched a shutout in the first game, striking out nine Easton batters while giving up one hit. The lone hit came in the first inning, courtesy of the Outlaws' No. 2 batter.
Tonganoxie scored its only runs of the game in the third inning. Todd Brown led off the inning with a single as Daniel Volk followed with a double. Derek Sparks knocked in both runners with a double of his own.
In the second game, with Josh Putthoff on the mound, Tonganoxie trailed heading into the fourth, 1-0, thanks to an Easton home run.
Tonganoxie responded with a two-run fourth and held the lead heading into the bottom of the fourth. John Volk and Putthoff opened the inning with singles and eventually scored, thanks to sacrifice at-bats from Kelton Starcher and Phil George.
Easton, however, responded in its half of the fourth with three runs and held a 4-2 advantage heading into the fifth. Tonganoxie couldn't rally a second time. The Outlaws produced four more runs for the victory.
"We hit the ball hard in the second game, it was just right at them," Tonganoxie coach Andy Gilner said.
Putthoff had seven strikeouts against Easton in the second game.
Tonganoxie actually has two American Legion teams competing this season, something the community hasn't had the last few years.
"It's fantastic that this many kids are interested and still want to play," Gilner said.
Gilner is coaching the team that played against Easton. His team is known as Tonganoxie No. 1, while the other team, Tonganoxie No. 2, is coached by Pat Bailey.
The two teams actually will play Thursday in Tonganoxie. The doubleheader will start at 6 p.m.
Tonganoxie No. 2, which primarily will be made up of younger players, will play at the "A" level when competing in tournaments. Tonganoxie No. 1, meanwhile, will compete in "AA" tournaments.
After Thursday's game, Tonganoxie No. 2 will be in action Friday in Leavenworth against Post 23 Auxiliary.
Tonganoxie No. 1 will play the Leavenworth Blue Sox on Saturday in Leavenworth, while Tonganoxie No. 2 will take on the Leavenworth Knights on Sunday in Leavenworth.
Tonganoxie No. 1
June 9 TONGANOXIE NO. 2
June 11 at Leavenworth Blue Sox
June 13 GEIGER READY-MIX
June 17 at Leavenworth Knights
June 19 at Lansing Reds
June 23 POST 23 AUXILIARY
June 28 at Lansing Reds
June 30 TONGANOXIE NO. 2
July 6 at Leavenworth Knights
July 8 at Geiger Ready-Mix
July 13 at Post 23 Auxiliary
July 18 at Easton Outlaws
July 21 LEAV. BLUE SOX
July 25-30 League tourney
Tonganoxie No. 2
June 9 TONGANOXIE NO. 1
June 10 at Leav. Post 23 Auxiliary
June 12 at Leavenworth Knights
June 13 at Lansing Reds
June 21 at Geiger Ready-Mix
June 26 GEIGER READY-MIX
June 30 TONGANOXIE NO. 1
July 7 POST 23 AUXILIARY
July 9 LEAV. BLUE SOX
July 12 EASTON OUTLAWS
July 16 LANSING REDS
July 20 at Easton Outlaws
July 24 LEAV. KNIGHTS
July 25-30 League tourney