Lansing Tyson Corley was ready Friday, ready to search deep for his stamina and pitch nine complete innings for the Lawrence Raiders in the Class AAA Zone 1 Tournament at Lansing High.
With postseason rules extending games to nine innings instead of the normal seven, a nine-inning complete game would have been priceless for a Raiders pitching staff a bit mangled with injuries.
But Corley didn't have to go that far. He -- and the Raiders offense -- took care of business in the first eight, run-ruling the Lansing Huskies, 11-1.
Corley instead pitched an eight-inning complete game, striking out six batters and allowing just one unearned run late in the game.
With Corley's solid victory, the Raiders are on the winner's side of the zone bracket, and will play at 10 a.m. today against the top-seeded Blue Valley Mustangs.
"My ball was moving a lot," Corley said. "They swung at everything. I got ahead of them, and they hit it everywhere. The defense played well behind me."
Corley was familiar with most of the Lansing hitters. A Mill Valley graduate and Kansas University signee, Corley played against Kaw Valley League foe Lansing in high school ball.
He didn't see it as much of an advantage, though.
"Actually, I think it was opposite," Corley said. "They've seen me before."
It didn't matter much. Lansing (15-8) poked just three singles in the first six innings, often settling for routine groundballs to the Raider infielders.
Lawrence was equally baffled in the first three frames, managing just one hit, a Brett Lisher double over the right fielder's head in the third.
The fourth inning, though, erased any early doubt. The Raiders (32-14) scored five runs in the frame, starting with a two-run single by Paul Metzler, and ending when Tyler Blankenship was plunked with the bases loaded.
With a 5-0 advantage and Corley on the mound, the lead appeared to be safe. And it was. Thanks to Lansing jumping on early strikes, Corley stayed under 100 pitches, allowing him to go through the eighth. He would've gone nine, had the Raiders not scored three in the eighth for the 10-run spread.
"There was no reason to waste anybody else," Raiders coach Reggie Christiansen said. "He's not going to be able to come back and pitch anyway."
As depleted as Lawrence's pitching staff is, it's still deep, even with Corley done for the weekend. Aaron Madill likely will start today against Blue Valley, with Grant Meisenheimer, Jake Hoover and Matt Wingert all ready to throw at any time today or Sunday.
The winner of today's early game won't play again until the championship Sunday, but the loser will take on Lansing in an elimination game at 7 p.m. today at Lansing High.
Raiders 11, Lansing 1, 8 innings
Lansing 000 000 01 -- 1 7 4
Lawrence 000 511 13 -- 11 11 2
W-- Tyson Corley. L-- Eric Delich.
Raiders highlights: Corley CG, 6 K, 2 BB; Paul Metzler 2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI; Joe Crane 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI; Brett Lisher 2-for-5, 2B, R, RBI.