Young Legion squad opens year with split
The Tonganoxie Post 41 American Legion baseball team opened its first doubleheader of the season June 6 in Tonganoxie with a loss, but came back in game 2 for a win and the split.
A late rally fell just short for the team in the first game of the doubleheader. Tonganoxie lost, 7-6, in seven innings.
Both teams were held scoreless through the first two innings. The Bandits scored four times in the top half of the third inning. The score remained 4-0 through the fifth inning when Easton added three more runs.
Tonganoxie bats finally showed some signs of life in the bottom of the fifth when the team put three runs on the scoreboard.
Boone Sorrell, Ryan Stockman and Blaize Oelschlaeger all crossed home in the inning.
After a scoreless sixth and top half of the seventh, Post 41 tried to make a comeback. Josh Nowasell led off the inning with a walk and then stole second base. Travis Freeman moved him to third with a single and then stole second. Patrick Gallagher and James Bailey then each had an RBI on fielder's choice plays.
With two outs Rob Schlicht walked and later scored on a Kevin Gill double. Gill then stole third. Gill, the tying run, was left stranded at third when the Easton rightfielder made a play on a drive to right field by clean up hitter Chris Newton.
"The guys showed a lot of heart in their comeback effort," coach Pat Bailey said. "I really thought Newt's drive was going to fall in for a hit, the ball just held in the air for too long."
Boone Sorrell pitched a complete game and had 11 strikeouts. Defensively, Schlicht, at shortsop, made two unassisted double plays in the game, and Oelschlaeger had a nice game athird. Offensive leaders for the game were: Sorrell 1-for-1 and Stockman, 1-for-3.
"Afterwards, I told the guys I was pleased with their effort, but we needed to cut down on the errors and get our bats going," Bailey said.
Post 41 16, Bandits 1
In the second game, Post 41 scored early and often and played good defense on their way to the team's first victory of the year.
Tonganoxie scored one in the bottom of the first on a Kevin Gill double. Gill scored on a double by Newton.
Easton responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning.
Tonganoxie scored again in the second when Patrick Holton walked and later scored on a Rob Schlicht single.
Starting pitcher Josh Nowasell and the defense held Easton scoreless in the bottom of the second. Nowasell recorded two strikeouts in the inning.
Tonganoxie added three more in the third when Gill, Newton and Sorrell each crossed home. Easton threatened in the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded and one out, reliever Chris Newton entered the game and promptly struck out the next two batters, using only six pitches to shut down the threat.
Tonganoxie added three more runs in the fourth when Holton walked, stole second and scored on a single by Bailey. Bailey stole second and third and scored on a Gill single. Gill stole second and scored on a triple by Newton.
Newton was thrown out at home in an attempt at an inside-the-park home run that ended the inning. Newton then struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth while allowing one single.
Tonganoxie exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fifth. Sorrell, Freeman, Kevin Hamm, Nowasell, Holton, Schlicht, Gill, and Newton each scored in the inning.
Newton found it easier to get a home run by sticking a three-run blast over the left field fence in the inning.
Newton and the defense then secured the win in the bottom of the inning with a 1-2-3 performance. Newton looked outstanding as a reliever, Bailey said, He pitched 2 1/3 innings on only 25 pitches. He also seven strikeouts.
The game lasted five innings because of the run rule.
Easton Bandits 004 030 0 -- 7
Tonganoxie Post 41 000 030 3 -- 6
Tonganoxie Post 41 113 38 -- 16
Easton Bandits 100 00 -- 1