Outlaws sweep Paola

Lawrence claims 9-8, 8-2 baseball victories

The two games of the Lawrence Outlaws’ doubleheader with Paola on Tuesday were as different as night and day — and not just because the lights were needed for the nightcap at Free State High.

Despite the disparity, the Outlaws swept the youth baseball twinbill, 9-8 and 8-2.

Lawrence won the dramatic opener by plating three runs in the bottom of the seventh before dominating Paola throughout Game Two.

“We’ve kind of been playing this way a lot lately,” said Outlaw outfielder Mitch McPherson, who hit a game-winning single to right field to end the opener. “We need to just show up for every game.”

Outlaw coach Matt Schubert said the Outlaws (16-7) might have been weary from a recent string of games, but they will get little relief. They’ll play host to another twinbill — against Ottawa, starting at 6 tonight at FSHS.

“I think we’re kind of worn out,” he said, “after all, we are playing our 10th game in five days. We’ve kind of been slow starting, but once we wake up, we really get going.

“You saw that when we dominated that second game.”

After allowing what proved to be a costly Outlaws rally in Game One, Paola threatened in the first inning of Game Two.

Paola started with three singles to take a 1-0 lead. Another walk loaded the bases and seemed to put Outlaw starter Nathan Hardman in trouble.

But he coaxed a line drive that he turned into a double play and another shot he snagged to end the inning.

“I barely survived the first,” Hardman said, “but it makes it real easy when they come right back at you.”

Two more Paola shots up the middle found Hardman’s glove — including another double-play ball.

Meanwhile, the Outlaws’ liners seemed to find grass. They collected 13 hits.

“That’s the way it goes,” Hardman said.

It went poorly for Paola in Game One. Leading 8-6, Paola allowed a leadoff walk to Paul Foltz, but Chris Gabriel struck out.

Both Paul Johnson and Cory Cooper singled, and Matt Falk’s double down the left-field line tied the score at 8.

Another strikeout gave Lawrence one last opportunity, and McPherson didn’t miss.

“I was sitting 2-0, just waiting and he threw it right down the pipeline,” he said, smiling.