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Archive for Friday, June 30, 2006

Emporia OF robs Outlaws

June 30, 2006

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Ice Field had top 10 defensive plays nearly every inning of the Lawrence Outlaws game on Thursday against Emporia.

Unfortunately for the Outlaws, the best play robbed them of the game-winning run in the 10th inning. Then, the top of the 11th saw Emporia score the winning run in a 4-3 Outlaws' loss - the team's third consecutive one-run defeat.

"That's the way baseball is," Outlaws' coach Chris Johnson said. "We're playing good games - one-run games. Those are great games to play in. That's the way baseball's supposed to be."

Before taking the mound in the seventh, Tony Williams filled the top 10 plays with diving catches while patrolling center field.

But it was Williams who fell victim to the No. 1 play of the evening - a would-be walk-off home run to straightaway center that was snagged at the wall.

"That was pretty shocking," Williams said. "I thought that was gone, but he made a good catch, and there's nothing I can do about that."

With Johnson giving his pitchers limited work, Williams took over in the seventh and finished the game for the Outlaws. His appearance on the rubber was his first in nearly a year and a half.

"At the beginning of the game, I pretty much mapped out that we would have Drew Holtz go two innings, Sam Harwood go two innings, Matt Avila go two," Johnson said, "then I was going to have Tony go the rest. ... I didn't want to waste any other arms because I wanted to have everybody ready for this weekend."

Outlaws' leadoff man Travis Sanders spent plenty of time on the basepath, going 3-for-5, but was never able to get all the way around the bases.

All three runs scored by the Outlaws were unearned, partly beccause of a throwing error by the Emporia second baseman attempting to turn a double-play in the sixth.

Williams came around to score on the error. Brian O'Toole's double brought in two more runs, giving the Outlaws a 3-2 lead.

Williams gave up the tying run in the ninth without giving up a hit - instead he had a hit batsman and three walks.

The Outlaws' skipper said his team continued to improve despite the losses, having been run-ruled in two games by the same Emporia squad to start the season.

Johnson and his players will head to Chanute this weekend for a tournament, which he says will be good for his ball club.

"After a few one-run games you get to play the next day and then you get to play the next day," Johnson said. "That's the beauty of summer baseball, you get to play every day and you get another chance. ... We're just playing a lot of games, and playing them hard. We keep playing hard, playing good baseball, it'll fall our way."

Emporia 4, Lawrence 3 (11 innings)

Emporia 011 000 001 01-4 6 1

Lawrence 000 003 000 00-3 10 3

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