Rare diamond: Tonganoxie High baseball competes at ballpark with MLB influence
Tonganoxie High baseball had the chance to play on arguably one of the best high school baseball fields in the state.
THS played Friday and Saturday in Fort Scott High School’s LaRoche Baseball Complex.
The venue is named after its donor, Major League Baseball player and Fort Scott alum Adam LaRoche, who worked closely with contractors on the stadium, which opened in 2015 and cost in the ballpark of $2.5 million.
The complex has 1,200-seating capacity at the field, a clubhouse and indoor batting cages for the Fort Scott Tigers.
LaRoche played 12 years in the MLB of Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Boston, Atlanta again, Arizona, Washington and then the Chicago White Sox.
Tonganoxie will get to play in another notable venue later this season with the annual tournament at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, but THS got a chance to play on an adjusted “opening day” at a prized diamond.
With so many rainouts and cancellations because of inclement weather, Friday’s games in Fort Scott marked the teams first of the season.
Unfortunately for the Chieftains, the scoreboard wasn’t in their favor.
THS lost to Fort Scott, 16-1, and Ottawa, 12-0, on Friday before losing a heartbreaker Saturday to Kaw Valley League foe Piper, 7-6.
Tonganoxie gave up big innings against FSHS and Ottawa, a seven-run second against the Tigers and eight-run second against the Cyclones.
THS dropped to 0-3 heading into this week. The Chieftains played Tuesday in Bonner Springs after The Mirror’s deadline, but will have their home opener Monday against Jeff West.
The Chieftains came close to their first victory of the season. The girls team lost, 2-1, to Piper in overtime on Monday.
Tonganoxie also fell last week to Lansing, 2-1, and Olathe North, 8-0.
Now 0-4-1, THS played Bishop Ward on Tuesday in Kansas City, Kan., after The Mirror’s deadline.
The Chieftains also are in action Friday at Leavenworth High.
Tonganoxie opened the season Tuesday against Bonner Springs on the road. The games took place after
The Mirror’s print deadline.
It was the unofficial opening day for the team, as inclement weather has postponed previous games.
THS is home Thursday with a doubleheader against Pleasant Ridge and another doubleheader Tuesday against Lansing.