Archive for Sunday, July 30, 2000

Raiders advance to zone title tilt

July 30, 2000

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— Thanks to Eric Peterson, there will be no barbecue for Lawrence's Raiders today.

Everyone's thrilled.

Lawrence will miss the annual American Legion baseball dinner tonight, but with two zone wins Saturday the Raiders are one victory away from reaching state. Lawrence will play Leavenworth at 6 tonight in the zone championship and a state berth.

Lawrence defeated Topeka Post One, 9-8, then Leavenworth 13-3, on Saturday.

"Those guys did all the work," a modest Peterson said about his teammates' hitting prowess in the second game, which ended after four innings by mercy rule.

Peterson recorded a save against Topeka before winning the nightcap.

He had not pitched in three weeks because of a strained back muscle. He retired all three Topeka batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh, then was just as dominant against Leavenworth.

The Raiders (35-13) have won four in a row since opening zone with a loss to Leavenworth on Tuesday in the double-elimination tournament.

On Saturday against Leavenworth, the Raiders tacked on eight runs in the first inning against the same pitcher they lost to Tuesday. Down 9-0 in the third inning, Leavenworth scored all three of its runs on Nick Toy's three-run home run.

In the fourth inning and Lawrence ahead 10-3, Peterson surrendered three consecutive singles to load the bases. No sweat. He struck out the next two batters and coaxed an easy fielder's choice to end the inning.

"I don't think I've ever been lacking in confidence," Peterson said. "I never really felt like it was tough to come back and pitch, even though I missed that much time."

Lawrence struck with three runs in the bottom of the fourth for the 10-run victory. Etken was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and he later scored on a wild pitch. Shaun Flynn's single scored Rob Scott and Bo Blevins.

Etken pitched six innings against Topeka before Peterson relieved him.

The state tournament is later this week in Hutchinson.

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