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Archive for Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Free State baseball improves to 13-0

April 30, 2003

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Free State High won a pitchers' duel Tuesday with Olathe East, prevailing 2-0 in nine innings to improve to 13-0 overall.

FSHS starter Matt Lane had nine strikeouts with no walks to earn the victory.

"He was outstanding," FSHS coach Mike Hill said of Lane, who improved to 6-0. "He was really good, and he got better as the game went on on the mound. He got his pitches over for strikes and really kept them off balance. You like your chances with Matt up there in pressure situations because he's a great competitor."

Lane helped his own cause at the plate with an RBI-single to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning.

"He just had a great night. He really picked us up," said Hill, whose squad scored the go-ahead run on Chris Coleman's suicide squeeze in the ninth. "We were not very effective offensively. The credit goes to their pitcher. He was simply awesome. That's the best pitching we've seen all season, bar none. We're glad for the victory, but at the same time you have some sympathy for their kid. He battled his tail off and lost.

"I'm proud of our club. They did a super job tonight."

The Firebirds (13-0) extended their best start in school history.

"We don't talk a lot about records," Hill said. "We talk about getting better every day. Yeah, that's a cliche, but it's also a fact. Our eyes are on the prizes at the end of the year, not records. You've got to ride this for all it's worth, see how long it will go, but it's enormously difficult to finish the season undefeated, especially in the Sunflower League.

"We'd sure like to just keep winning."

Free State plays Olathe South at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Olathe District Activities Center. During this grueling stretch, the Firebirds also will face Lawrence High (Saturday at FSHS), Shawnee Mission Northwest (Tuesday at FSHS) and LHS again (May 8 at Ice Field).

"It's a gauntlet," Hill said. "We're going to find out an awful lot about ourselves in the next four games. We hope to play good baseball throughout this stretch. Can we come through unscathed? It will be awful tough. But we have confidence and know what we're up against. We just want to get better the next couple of weeks."

Free State 2, Olathe East 0, 9 innings

Free State 000 000 002 -- 2 3 0

Olathe East 000 000 000 -- 0 2 4

WP--Matt Lane (6-0). LP--Meyers.

FSHS highlights: Lane had 9 Ks, 0 BBs, didn't allow anyone to reach second base, had RBI-single; Matt Berner had a hit, Robby Price had a hit, Chris Coleman had a suicide squeeze to score the go-ahead run.

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