Archive for Thursday, June 12, 2003

Topeka Post 400 rips Raiders, 11-1

June 12, 2003


The Lawrence Raiders' American Legion game against Topeka Post 400 ended Wednesday night after only five innings and an 11-1 score.

Another Raiders rout, huh?

Nope, not this time.

"They just beat the heck out of us," Raiders coach Carl Brooks said. "Sometimes that's just the way it goes."

Actually, it hadn't gone that way all summer for Lawrence, which lost its first game in 11 outings Wednesday at Free State High.

So the reason behind the Raiders being ripped had to be that five of Lawrence's starters were playing in an all-star game in Kansas City, right?

Wrong. Brooks said that excuse was bunk.

"This loss had nothing to do with those guys not playing," Brooks said. "We just didn't pitch very well, and our batters were very impatient at the plate."

While Tommy Mangino, Matt Lane, Matt Berner, Aaron Madill and Andrew Pyle might have added a bit more punch to the Raiders' lineup, that wasn't the problem Wednesday.

Lawrence and Topeka combined for just seven hits, meaning the key was the timing off those taps. And even then, Topeka didn't need much to take advantage of Raiders pitchers Nate Burman and Heath Fanning.

Post 400 posted seven runs in the third, all with just one hit. Then again, Jake Lott's grand slam off the scoreboard in left field was quite a shot.

"I don't know what happened. My arm just didn't feel right," said Fanning who replaced Burman in the third after Topeka had plated five runs, before he allowed six more in the inning.

"I had a great defense behind me out there, but it didn't matter because I didn't let them do their job."

Defense after all, was what Brooks was most concerned about with his starters being gone and players playing positions where they might not be that comfortable.

There were no errors, leaving the Raiders bats to blame.

"I think we did start pressing a bit, trying to do to much at one time," said David Arndt, who was 2-for-2 and drove in the Raiders' lone run with a single in the bottom of the third.

Even when the Raiders had some success like three hits in the third something stopped their rally. In the third it was Derek Bailey's inning-ending double play.

"I was horrible tonight," said Bailey, normally one of the Raiders' top offensive players, who suffered through an 0-for-3 outing.

The Raiders first loss of the season comes two days before they travel to Omaha, Neb., for the American Legion College World Series tournament.

But Brooks thinks his boys might play even better because of the lopsided setback.

"We haven't been tested all year, and we weren't even tested tonight because they beat the heck out of us," Brooks said, with a smirk. "But two things can either happen. We don't taking anything from this and remain shaky, or we wake up and play ball."

Topeka 11, Lawrence Raiders 1

Topeka 137 00 11 7 0

Raiders 001 00 1 7 0

WP Mark Herbster. LP Nate Burman. 2B Raiders: David Arndt, Kyle Unruh; Topeka: Herbster, Bryce Wood, Joe Hosey, Brett Becker. HR Topeka: Jake Lott.

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