Tonganoxie loses in slugfest
The final in Tonganoxie Post 41's game Saturday night looked more like a football score than a baseball score.
Post 41 lit up the scoreboard for 14 runs. Unfortunately for Tonganoxie, its pitching staff hasn't been steady enough to win a game in the Byron H. Mehl Post 23 American Legion season yet. Collectively, the Post 41 staff gave up eight hits, walked eight and hit five more batters.
Post 41 lost to the Easton Outlaws, 22-14, Saturday night at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. Tonganoxie lost game two to Easton, 14-3.
In game one, Tonganoxie actually led, 12-6, after two innings. Easton scored 16 runs in the next two innings to put the game out of reach.
"It's a shame we gave that up, because if you get a lead by three or four runs, you would think you'd be able to hold onto it," Post 41 coach Pat Bailey said. "It's disappointing to let it go, but you're encouraged because I don't very often get teams that put up 14 runs."
Tonganoxie can take positives from its 10 hits Saturday night in game one. Easton finished fourth in the Class 3A state tournament last season. The Outlaws also won their Legion league last summer.
Mark Stewart went 2-for-3 with an RBI double in game one. The double jumped off the senior catcher's bat and came up just short of the wall in the alley in left center field.
"It was a nice pitch inside, so I just pulled it to left field," said Stewart, who attends McLouth High. "At first, I was thinking it might get out, but then I saw it was too low, so it was just a double."
Post 41 (0-3) doesn't possess many experienced pitchers, so Stewart has been trying to calm them down on the mound as much as he can.
"You just have to tell them to relax and act like you're playing catch, like you're warming up," Stewart said.
First baseman Grant Ebbert had a solid outing in game one, going 2-for-2 with a single, double and a walk. Kevin Stewart went 2-for-3.
In game two, Tonganoxie fell behind, 14-0, after two innings. Post 41 put up three runs in the fourth inning, but it wasn't enough to prevent Easton from run-ruling Tonganoxie after four innings.
"Somebody said the umpire wanted to go home, so I said, 'Let's keep him here,'" Bailey said. "I tried to keep a spark in them. They're good ballplayers, but they just haven't jelled yet."
Kevin Stewart started the Tonganoxie scoring in game two with a triple over the center fielder's head. He scored on Ebbert's ground out.
Shawn Roberts was hit by a pitch, then Ryan Smith hit a double to set up the third and final Tonganoxie run. Jon Harris beat out a throw to first base for an infield single, which scored Roberts.
Easton Outlaws 22, Tonganoxie Post 41 14, 4 inn. (game one)
Tonganoxie Post 41 842 0 -- 14 10 1
Easton Outlaws 425 11 -- 22 8 2
Post 41 scoring summary:
Bot. 1 -- Ryan Smith hit by pitch with bases loaded (1-4)
James Bailey hit by pitch with bases loaded (2-4)
Mike Rome walked with bases loaded (3-4)
Pat Gallagher walked with bases loaded (4-4)
Pat Holton hit by pitch with bases loaded (5-4)
Ryan Stockman reached base on error, two runs scored (7-4)
Mark Stewart RBI double (8-4)
Bot. 2 -- James Bailey RBI double (9-6)
Mike Rome 2-RBI double (11-6)
Jon Harris RBI single (12-6)
Bot. 3 -- Ryan Smith RBI single, another scores on error (14-11)
Easton Outlaws 14, Tonganoxie Post 41 3, 4 inn. (game two)
Tonganoxie Post 41 000 3 -- 3 5 4
Easton Outlaws 11 30 x -- 14 4 0
Post 41 scoring summary:
Top 4 -- Kevin Stewart RBI triple (1-14)
Grant Ebbert grounded out, RBI (2-14)
Jon Harris RBI single (3-14)