Overland Park Make it four straight Sunflower League titles for the Free State High baseball team.
The Firebirds scored four runs in the top of the first inning Friday, and senior pitchers Robby Price and Scott Heitshusen took care of business on the mound, giving Free State a 6-3 victory over Shawnee Mission East.
At 15-2 overall and 9-1 in the Sunflower League, Free State has earned at least a share of the league title with one game remaining.
"We also clinched home field for the region tournament, because we're guaranteed no worse than the 2 seed, so it's a good win for both of those reasons," Firebirds coach Mike Hill said.
Free State wasted little time wrapping up its title defense, taking a 4-0 lead before the Lancers even had a chance bat.
"It was huge. Shawnee Mission East is a good baseball team, and that kid they threw is one of the top pitchers in the Sunflower League," Hill said about the early efficiency. "We put the ball in play and took advantage of some mistakes on their part."
Meanwhile, Price and Heitshusen made precious few of their own. The former allowed two runs over five innings, improving to 4-0, while the latter earned his fifth save by working the final two innings.
"(Price) was really effective and mixed things up well," Hill said. "I thought he did a nice job of keeping their hitters off-balance."
Jordan Dreiling was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Free State, while Travis Ice also was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The Firebirds will play a makeup game at 3 p.m. Monday at Blue Valley North, the first of a closing three-game stretch that includes their league finale Tuesday at Olathe North and concludes with Thursday's 7 p.m. showdown against Lawrence High at Kansas University's Hoglund Ballpark.
"We're looking forward to a big week coming up," Hill said.