Outlaws snag split

Lawrence wins nightcap, 12-9, after 6-0 loss

Outlaws coach Brad Romme did not want to call it revenge, but after watching his team’s performance in the first game, the second game certainly was a dose of retribution.

Two weeks ago, Romme’s club was pounded by Chanute on the road, 17-0 and 13-3. Sunday at Free State High, the Outlaws were on the losing side of the first contest, 6-0, but rebounded to claim the second contest, 12-9.

After the second game, no smile was bigger than Romme’s.

“It felt good, not so much because they beat us, but because we beat a quality ball team,” he said.

Both Lawrence and Chanute put on a clinic on how to advance runners without getting hits, but the Outlaws did better than their opponents in the second game. When the final out was made, both teams had tallied a total of 21 runs on 10 combined hits, each team registering five apiece.

Hits were hard to find, but hit batters were not. The Outlaws (7-14) beaned seven Chanute batters, 13 in both games. The visitors fared about the same.

With Chanute (24-10) up 6-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Lawrence put up five runs on just one hit – an RBI double by Brian O’Toole to drive in Kyle Cross. The rest of the offense came through a series of walks, wild pitches and fielding errors by Chanute, giving Lawrence a 9-6 lead going into the fifth inning.

Lawrence Outlaws second baseman Matt Birtmer grabs the ball as Chanute's Blane Audiss runs toward the base. The Outlaws lost the first game of their doubleheader Sunday at Free State High, 6-0, but rebounded to win the nightcap, 12-9.

“It just shows how hitting batters and walking people will kill you,” Lawrence catcher Andy Petz said. “You don’t have to have the hits if you can walk them.”

Petz scored three runs in the second game despite not registering a hit. After the game, his uniform pants were covered in dirt from working the basepaths all afternoon.

“When you don’t have to make outs to move the runners up, it just makes the game so much more efficient offensively,” Romme said.

With the three-run cushion, Kyle Cross entered in the top of the seventh and mowed down three straight Chanute batters with two pop-ups and a ground out to pick up the victory.

Lawrence's Kyle Cross hurls a pitch against Chanute. The Outlaws split a doubleheader - losing, 6-0, and winning, 12-9 - Sunday at Free State High.

“We came in the seventh inning and threw strikes and didn’t walk anybody, and it was three up, three down,” Petz said. “If we could have done that the whole game, we could have made it a lot easier on ourselves.”

If the second game proved how much the Outlaws have improved and matured over the summer, the first reaffirmed that the young club still has plenty to learn – and plenty of bad habits to break.

Chanute jumped out to a 5-0 lead courtesy of five Lawrence errors. In fact, Chanute didn’t need any hits in the second inning after the Outlaws committed three errors in the inning alone.

The Outlaws will play Topeka 400 on Tuesday at Seaman High. They will close the regular season with nine-inning games against the Raiders on Saturday and Sunday at Free State.