Lansing overpowers Tonganoxie baseball in final doubleheader of 2005 campaign
Lansing came into Monday's baseball doubleheader against Tonganoxie looking to tack on two more wins and stay in the driver's seat for the top seed in its Class 5A baseball regional.
Tonganoxie, on the other hand, wanted to works it way out of the bottom seed in its 4A regional next week at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
The Chieftains put up a fight at their home park, but the Lions spoiled the day as they swept the doubleheader.
Tonganoxie fell in the first game, 4-3, despite back-to-back home runs from Kirk Rodell and John Volk.
The homers were a welcomed sight for THS coach Andy Gilner, but he said his team still isn't taking advantage of opportunities.
"We just don't put the ball into play at appropriate times," Gilner said. "We had back-to-back homers, but they're both solo shots."
Tonganoxie started game 2 in style, as four hits translated into a 3-0 lead. Lansing then answered with three in the top of the second. Jake Heskett scored on a Daniel Volk's single and the Chieftains had the lead again at 4-3.
The Chieftains didn't lead again.
Pitcher Josh Puthoff held Lansing scoreless in the third, but Lansing erupted for seven runs in the fourth. After another scoreless inning in the fifth, Joe Park came on in relief for Putthoff. Lansing scored three in the sixth and eight in the seventh. Tonganoxie also scored in the final two innings, but the rally came too late. Lansing won the game, 21-7.
Tonganoxie walked eight batters in the second game and hit two batters.
On Thursday, Tonganoxie traveled to Bishop Ward where the Chieftains fell to the defending 4A champions, 13-0 and 10-6.
Gilner said his team had its best hitting performance of the year in the second game.
The Chieftains did pick up a victory May 3 at Pleasant Ridge. Although THS lost the first game, the Chieftains came back for the victory in the second game.
In the process, Rodell and Gilner were ejected. The first-base ump ruled that Rodell tried to leg whip the Pleasant Ridge first baseman as Rodell was running toward first. Gilner later was ejected after arguing the call.
Tonganoxie fell to 4-15 on the season after Monday's losses to Lansing. THS had a make-up game Tuesday against Piper that finished off the regular season.
THS then will play Monday in regional action at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Tonganoxie probably will be the No. 8 seed and should face Bishop Ward again in the quarterfinals.