The hot-hitting tandem of Scott Heitshusen and Brett Lisher that was so instrumental in leading Free State High to its first state baseball title in the spring hasn't cooled off during the summer.
Other than their uniforms, which now say Raiders instead of Free State, little has changed for the power hitters.
In leading the Lawrence Raiders to a 17-7 victory over Emporia - in a game played next to the grounds of the Emporia zoo, with the sounds of nature serenading the players - Heitshusen and Lisher combined for four extra-base hits and 10 RBIs.
Heitshusen went 3-for-4 with two home runs and drove in seven runs.
Lisher homered, doubled and knocked in three runs in the Raiders' regular-season finale.
John Sneegas (5-0) earned the victory with a five-inning start, and fellow lefty Daren Parker struck out seven in four innings of relief.
The Raiders (29-5) have a bye in the first round of American Legion Zone tournament that begins Tuesday night at Free State High with a pair of games at 5:30 and 7:45.
The Raiders have reason to take plenty of confidence into the tournament.
"Offensively, obviously, we're swinging the bat extremely well, and we're starting to take care of the baseball," Raiders coach Troy Wingert said. "We were shaky defensively there for a couple of weeks, but the last three or four games, the defense we've played has been phenomenal."
Lawrence Raiders 17,
W - John Sneegas, 5-0.
Raiders highlights - Scott Heitshusen, 3-for-4, 2 HR, 7 RBIs; Brett Lisher, 3-for-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBIs; Andy Petz, 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBIs; Patrick Johnson, 2-for-4; Kyle Cross, 2-for-3; Daren Parker struck out seven in four innings.