Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Raiders eager to open season

Legion lid-lifter tonight

June 6, 2007

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Rain, rain, go away, the Lawrence Raiders want to play.

Washed out of a season-opening tournament in Kansas City last weekend, the city's lone senior American Legion baseball team is scheduled to debut tonight.

"All the kids want to play, and I want to play," first-year coach Shaun Edmondson said.

Game time for a doubleheader with the Kansas City Barnstormers is 6 p.m. at Free State High's field.

Although the Raiders are eager to step to the plate, Edmondson concedes the extra preparation time may prove beneficial.

"I think the practices will help us in the long run," Edmondson said. "We're still trying to get a feel for ourselves."

The Raiders are mostly a combination of Lawrence High and Free State players. For instance, the infield will have the Lions' John Novotny and Travis Sanders at third base and second base respectively, and the Firebirds' Hunter Scheib at shortstop and Ben Wilson at first base.

Tonight's starting outfield will consist of Lawrence High's Jordan Guntert and Drew Hulse, and Free State's Kyle Cross. Eudora High product Matthew Abel will fit into the outfield picture when he returns from a family vacation, Edmondson said.

The Lions' Patrick Johnson will catch the opener, with the Firebirds' Adam Emerson scheduled to work behind the plate in the nightcap.

As of Tuesday, Edmondson was undecided on his starting pitchers for the openers. His staff is composed of Free Staters Caleb Gress, Alex Hardman and Travis Spurling, along with Lawrence High's Daniel Green, Preston Scheibler, Joe Kornbrust, Guntert and Hulse.

A handful of Lions and Firebirds eligible for the Legion team are playing this summer for the Sluggers, a traveling team based in the Kansas City area. They include Jordan Dreiling, Daniel Parker, E.J. Swanson, John Wilson and Nick DeBiasse.

In addition, Andy Petz, last year's starting catcher, has opted to play for the Wolverines, a traveling team based in Wichita.

Edmondson has only four returnees from last year's Legion national tournament team - Green, Cross, Johnson and Novotny.

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