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Archive for Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Lions turn tables

LHS twice rallies to topple O-North, 14-13

April 13, 2005

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Lawrence High pitcher Will Falk's confidence was unwavering Tuesday evening at Ice Field.

Even after Olathe North's Dan Wise smashed a home run that put the Eagles up 13-11 in the top of the seventh -- a shot LHS coach Brad Stoll said "might still be traveling down South Iowa."

But Falk, who left the ball hanging on a 2-2 count with two outs, said his stance stayed the same even after Wise's three-run blast to left.

"I got to give him credit, he hit that one a mile," said a smiling Falk. "But I just knew we were going to win. You could just tell by our team's attitude in the clubhouse."

Watch out Miss Cleo, Falk was right.

The Lions answered with three runs of their own to pull out the amazing 14-13 victory when Nick DeBiasse hit a hard grounder to third base that an O-North player mishandled allowing Brian Heere to cross home plate with the game-winner.

"I was jetting down the baseline, I don't know if he would have had me," joked DeBiasse. "No seriously, coach just told me to put the ball in play and good things could happen."

That they did as the Lions -- who earlier rallied from a 5-1 deficit -- were the beneficiaries of their own hard work.

"I'm pretty amped up right now," said Stoll, whose squad improved to 3-6. "I gave them a pretty good tongue-lashing after the first inning, but they really responded with hard play the rest of the game.

"This could be a big, big win for us because of how it came about against such a quality team at this time in the season."

Lawrence High's Will Falk turns a double play as Olathe North's
Josh Gore tries to break it up at second base. Falk hit a home run
and earned the pitching victory in relief as the Lions rallied for
a 14-13 victory Tuesday at Ice Field.

Lawrence High's Will Falk turns a double play as Olathe North's Josh Gore tries to break it up at second base. Falk hit a home run and earned the pitching victory in relief as the Lions rallied for a 14-13 victory Tuesday at Ice Field.

Not that LHS didn't have its struggles.

In addition to a couple of costly, if not controversial calls by the umpires, the Eagles clubbed three timely homers, including two of the three-run variety.

O-North senior standout Dustin Moomau -- who shut down Free State from the mound last week in the Eagles' 13-4 victory over the Firebirds -- equally was effective with his stuff early against the Lions.

But it was Moomau's bomb in the fourth that comfortably put his team back ahead 8-4, after LHS shortstop Marc Albers hit a three-run dinger to close the gap to 5-4 in the third.

The Lions came back with two runs in the their half of the fourth, then LHS took control by plating five in the fifth.

"It's kind of hard to complete a comeback like that after what happened with their big home run, but we just busted our butts," said Lawrence third baseman John Novotny, who went 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI.

"Coach really stresses that anything is possible in baseball, and if you work hard at it you're never out of a game."

Falk, who already had put in his own work at the plate with a solo homer in the second, was part of the Lions big fifth inning that saw four consecutive LHS hitters connect with singles to tie the game at nine-all.

An O-North error on a ball hit by Heere and a sac fly by Michael Sickinger gave Lawrence the two-run lead.

Even though the advantage was short-lived -- the Eagles tallied a run in the sixth before adding the go-ahead scores when Wise slugged his ball -- Falk said he saw the "winning look" in his teammates after Stoll gave them a brief talk before the bottom of the seventh.

"Just sometimes you know you can feel that things are going to work out," he said. "Tonight with all the crazy stuff that happened I knew we were going to have a chance to come back and win it."

That the Lions did thanks to back-to-back singles by Novotny and Tyler Knight to lead off the inning.

Catcher Brett Sims advanced the two on a slow rolling sacrifice bunt that he almost beat out on an errant throw to first. Heere walked to load the bases, and a walk to Albers after Lawrence's second out sliced the defect to 13-12.

DeBiasse quickly fell behind 0-2, but fouled off a pitch before O-North reliever Nick Poland threw a wild pitch to tie the game.

"It was the kind of situation every kid dreams about being in," said DeBiasse, who took two more balls and fouled off another pitch before spraying his triumphant liner to third.

"I'm glad I came through by just getting good contact on the ball."

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