Archive for Thursday, May 7, 1998


May 7, 1998


It came as no surprise that both ends of Wednesday's baseball doubleheader between Free State High and Olathe East were blowouts.

The shocking part is which team won.

Free State (7-9) pounded 27 runs on 25 hits to sweep the defending Class 6A state champions, 16-6 in six innings and 11-1 in five innings. Both games were called for the run rule.

``Certainly that wasn't expected,'' Free State coach Mike Hill said. ``We'd like to think that our level of play was the reason. They weren't given to us. Our kids did earn them, without question.

``Now, we play them 10 more times, that probably doesn't happen. But the fact of the matter is, we had two opportunities to suit up tonight, between the white lines, and both times our kids stepped it up and got the job done. End of story.''

Free State outfielder Matt Maigaard led the onslaught -- which featured the Firebirds batting around in four of the 11 innings -- by going 5-for-6 with six RBIs.

The big blow was his three-run home run in the second inning of the first game -- both his and the team's first this season -- which capped a six-run inning.

``I think we showed them that we can play,'' Maigaard said, ``and they can't just roll in here and take it because we weren't going to let them. I think when we were coming in we weren't intimidated at all. We had heard, `State champion this and state champion that.' We came out in the first couple of innings and put it on them.''

Hill wasn't surprised by his junior outfielder's success at the plate.

``Matt's a great offensive player,'' Hill said. ``He's important to our team because he's been there before. He was part of a team at Lawrence High School last year that went to the state championship game. So he's experienced, if that's a word that applies to our school at all.''

Another player who has some high school experience is junior Brett Bogard, who spent the previous two seasons with Tonganoxie High. That experience paid Wednesday, when he allowed only two hits against Olathe East (11-5) while going 2-for-2 with two RBIs, three runs scored and a home run.

``I just thought if I hit my spots, got my fastball working and broke off some curveballs to the big hitters then I'll have their hitting out of the way,'' Bogard said.

Free State sophomore John Swenson also fared well on the mound, allowing the Hawks just one run on two hits in the nightcap.

``How do you describe what John Swenson did? He was fantastic,'' Hill said. ``Now here's a kid, another sophomore, who walks out on the mound with maybe a 65-mph fastball if the wind's howling behind him and he had difficulty finding his second pitch tonight. But, he battled through that, didn't let that bother him and was able to hit locations all night long, strike out good hitters and let his defense work behind him.''

Free State will play host to Olathe North on noon Saturday at Ice Field.

Free State 16-11, Olathe East 6-1

First Game

Olathe East 103 020 -- 6 2 0

Free State 064 501 -- 16 17 1

Adam Martin, Graham Thompson (3), Matt Fogle (4), Brian Chapman (4), Shane Burke (5), Mark Nato (6) and Matt Boyce; Brett Bogard, Nathan Vail (5) and Bix Ellenbecker. W--Bogard. L--Martin.

2B -- Vail, Bogard. HR -- Chris Downer, Matt Maigaard, Bogard.

Second Game

Olathe East 001 00 -- 1 2 3

Free State 003 08 -- 11 8 1

Robby Haynes, Justin Clark (5) and Shane Burke; John Swenson and Bix Ellenbecker. W--Swenson. L--Haynes.

2B -- Toby Leach, Matt Heider. HR -- Todd Ross.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.