Late-inning comeback sends THS onward
This one was as easy as 3-2-1.
Actually, easy didn't exactly describe Monday's Class 4A regional quarterfinal game for Tonganoxie against St. James.
Tonganoxie trailed, 6-1, with six outs to spare. It appeared as though THS didn't have a prayer against St. James entering the sixth inning.
Luckily for the Chieftains, the game was far from finished. Tonganoxie scored three in the sixth and cut the Thunder lead to 6-4.
Tonganoxie stopped St. James in the bottom of the sixth and headed into the seventh and final inning needing to more runs to tie. With runners on second and third, Tonganoxie's Jace Waters connected for a base hit and brought his two teammates home, tying the game at six.
After shutting St. James down again in the seventh, the teams headed into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Tonganoxie's Rob Schlicht reached base after being hit by a pitch. Schlicht eventually advanced to third after a catcher interference call.
And, thanks to an infield hit, Schlicht crossed home plate and gave the Chieftains a 7-6 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, St. James threatened, but Schlicht, playing in left field, robbed a St. James hitter on a short blooper to the outfield.
Tonganoxie will play in the regional semifinals for the second straight year. Last season, THS upset Sumner Academy before losing to De Soto in the semifinals.
This season, THS will face No. 2 Piper (13-4), which defeated De Soto, 6-4, Monday. The game will start at 4:30 p.m. today at 3&2 Sports Complex at 83rd and Kansas Highway 7. In the other semifinal game, Bishop Ward (20-0) will face No. 4 Eudora (11-5) at 2 p.m. The semifinal winners will play at 7 p.m. in the regional championship.
Regional score by innings
THS 010 003 21 -- 7
SJ 011 220 00 -- 6
Tonganoxie falls to Lansingat CommunityAmerica
The stage was grand and the drama high Thursday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, but Tonganoxie couldn't take home a win at the home of the Kansas City T-Bones. Lansing won the contest at the neutral site, 6-4.
The game had its share of clutch hits and a spirited crowd, as well as a wild finish that, unfortunately for Tonganoxie, didn't side in its favor.
Early on it looked as though Lansing might deliver a repeat performance of last week's shutout victory over THS, as Lansing broke out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Tonganoxie scored a run in the bottom of the second when Jake Heskett doubled and then scored on Jake Dent's base hit.
LHS extended its lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning, but Tonganoxie rallied with a run in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the fifth that tied the game.
After a scoreless fifth, Lansing struck again in the sixth and held a 6-4 lead.
THS went quietly in the sixth, but things quickly got dicey in the seventh. With two outs, Tonganoxie's Logan Forbis hit a ground ball that appeared to end the game, but the LHS firstbaseman didn't make the catch at first. Suddenly the Chieftains had momentum.
Eric Lowe came in for THS as a pinch-hitter and was down in the count 0-2. After taking ball one, Lowe hit Lansing's next offering to the Lions shortstop. The throw was a little off-target, but the firstbaseman made an apparent sweep tag on Lowe's back. The first base umpire didn't see the tag and called Lowe safe, but the home plate umpire intervened and reversed the call.
-- Chris Wristen contributed to this story.