One night after committing five errors in an 8-1 loss to Arkansas City in the Al Ice Memorial Woodbat Classic on Friday, the Lawrence Raiders had a change of fortune.
The Raiders scored five runs four unearned with the help of four errors by the defending champion Tulsa (Okla.) Memorial Chargers in a 5-4 victory Saturday at Kansas University's Hoglund Ballpark.
"They pressed a little bit early, I think," Raiders coach Carl Brooks said of the Chargers fielding problems. "We played a lot better. We're going to move closer and closer to a set lineup and when we do that I'm confident we'll be a better defensive team. We've been playing people all over the place and it's not been fair to them and it's made a difference in how well we perform. You can't entirely blame it on the kids. It's coaching decisions that sometimes have put us in a pickle."
Whenever the Raiders (13-9) got into a pickle Saturday, pitcher Aaron Madill got them out.
Madill, a senior-to-be at Lawrence High, gave up nine hits all singles and just one earned run in seven innings and struck out six, including four in the final two innings.
"We needed to win tonight," Brooks said, "and we had the right guy on the mound to do that. Aaron Madill is a bulldog. He's one of those guys who's just going to give you everything he's got, from the moment he steps out there until he steps off, and most of the time it's good enough to win."
Lawrence, which had scored just five runs in its two previous tournament games, scored twice in the first inning on wild pitches by Tulsa's Kris Klahr.
The Raiders added another run in the second on a double down the right field line by Andrew Pyle that sprayed chalk and drove in Cassidy Thompson, who had reached on a error.
Matt Berner scored on a sacrifice fly by Tommy Mangino in the third, and Mike Morrell drove home Kyle McManness with a double in the fifth for the Raiders' final run.
Madill, who had spent the past five days on vacation, faced just three batters more than the minimum through five innings but ran into some trouble in the sixth. He walked the first two batters and allowed three runs after two Lawrence errors, a wild pitch and a passed ball.
"I was cruising until the sixth inning and then I was having a little trouble with my control," Madill said. "In the seventh inning, coach asked me if I wanted to stay in and I said I wanted to finish the game. I went out there and tried to throw as many strikes as possible and come out with a win."
Tulsa, which had a seven-game winning streak snapped with the loss, scored another run in the seventh on three singles, but Madill ended the game by striking out Kyle Revere with two runners on base.
Lawrence, which finished pool play 1-2, will face Dodge City at 9 this morning in the seventh-place game at Hoglund Ballpark.
"I wish the Raiders weren't playing the 9 a.m. game," Brooks said, "but I feel real good about tonight and I think we'll come ready to win the ballgame tomorrow, too."
In other games Saturday: Ponca City (Okla.), defeated Arkansas City, 9-6; Blue Valley defeated Claremore (Okla.), 3-0; and Augusta defeated Dodge City, 9-3.
Blue Valley will face Ponca City in one semifinal at 1:30 p.m., and Tulsa will face Augusta at 3:30 p.m. in the other semi. The winners will meet at 6 p.m. in the championship.
Lawrence Raiders 5, Tulsa Memorial Chargers 4
Chargers 000 003 1 4 9 4
Raiders 211 010 x 5 6 2
WAaron Madill. LCole Hensley.
2BRaiders: Matt Berner, Andrew Pyle, Mike Morrell.
Raiders highlights Berner, 2-for-3, 2B, 2 runs; McManness, 1-for-2, 2 runs.