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Archive for Friday, May 18, 2007

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

LHS proves it’s state worthy

THE LAWRENCE HIGH BASEBALL TEAM gathers on Free State's home field after the Lions knocked off the Firebirds, 8-1, in the championship game of a Class 6A regional. LHS earned a spot in the 6A state tournament in Wichita with Thursday's victory.

THE LAWRENCE HIGH BASEBALL TEAM gathers on Free State's home field after the Lions knocked off the Firebirds, 8-1, in the championship game of a Class 6A regional. LHS earned a spot in the 6A state tournament in Wichita with Thursday's victory.

May 18, 2007

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Regional baseball results set up city showdown

Lawrence High's regular season didn't exactly go great, but the Lions finished the season with a record of 11-8, good enough for the fourth seed in today's regional tournament at Free State High. Enlarge video

LHS knocks off No. 1 Free State to advance to state

Last year, both Free State and Lawrence High made it to the regional final, and tonight the two city teams met for the third time this season, this time for a ticket to state on the line. Enlarge video

The first time Tony Williams stepped to the plate with the bases loaded Thursday night, the Lawrence High senior popped out to third base.

Five innings later, Free State intentionally walked John Novotny to create a bases loaded situation for Williams - again.

"Of course I felt disrespected," Williams said. "They evidently thought I couldn't hit and I made them pay."

The LHS senior lefty crushed the Ryan Scott offering to the gap in right-center field. Bases-clearing double. Game over.

Lawrence High defeated Free State, 8-1, in the Class 6A regional championship game on the Firebirds' home field. The Lions won two of three games against the Firebirds this season - both occurred at Free State. The victory marked the first Lawrence High state baseball appearance since 2002, when it finished third.

Williams stood on second base after the double and pointed to the Lawrence High bench, which nearly cleared the dugout in excitement.

"Tony hammered it," LHS coach Brad Stoll said. "I'll tell you what, this is an indication of how hard and far he hit that ball: Johnny Novotny scored from first and Johnny can't run out of sight in a week."

Eight days ago, Daniel Green allowed only two hits in the first LHS baseball victory against Free State in five years. Thursday, sophomore Dorian Green - no relation - limited the Firebirds to three hits, one earned run, four walks and struck out eight.

Dorian Green effectively mixed his fastball with his breaking ball. He also escaped pressure-packed situations. Free State loaded the bases twice, but didn't score a run in either instance.

"I was concentrating on getting that first strike and then everything else came through," Green said. "When I got on the mound and started throwing for strikes consistently, that's when I knew I had it."

Although the sophomore right-hander walked four, he retired 13 of the last 14 batters. Green retired the side in the fourth and fifth innings.

"Big stages don't affect him," Stoll said. "You saw it in basketball and we're seeing it in baseball. That breaking ball was even sharper in the sixth inning."

LHS offered Green a generous amount of run support as well. The Lions took a 4-1 lead from a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly and a groundout RBI. Williams' double made it 7-1, then Clint Pinnick knocked in Williams with an RBI single.

Novotny created run support all day with his 5-for-5 performance with three doubles in two games. The senior third baseman went 3-for-3 with a double, two singles and a walk against Free State. He had three runs total.

Lawrence High defeated Washburn Rural, 17-7, in five innings in its first game of the day. Free State defeated Leavenworth, 11-1, in six innings, which created the LHS-FSHS regional championship matchup.

"I'm not disappointed in the least," Free State coach Mike Hill said. "We had one guy coming back who played at the position he was at a year ago (senior catcher Andy Petz). If you were to tell me we would finish 16-5, I wouldn't have believed you."

Free State will lose three starters, but return all of its pitching from this season. The Firebirds will return six offensive starters.

Senior first baseman Ben Wilson did not play for Free State in either game. Hill refused to provide any details about Wilson's absence.

"I have no comment about the kids who didn't play tonight," Hill said. "I'm only talking about the ones who played on the field."

LHS first baseman Nick DeBiasse was ejected in the top of the fourth inning for running into the first baseman in an attempt to beat out a throw. DeBiasse's status is questionable for the state tournament.

Next weekend will mark the first time Stoll, in his third year, coaches the Lions at the state tournament. LHS (13-8) lost in the first round of regionals in Stoll's first year, then lost in the regional championship game last season.

"Our goal all year was to have a dogpile in Wichita and now we're three games closer to doing that," Dorian Green said.

Comments

betterthanfsobviously 6 years, 11 months ago

to cs... If you watched the 2 games, you should have realized that both calls were weak and shouldn't have been made in a game like that. Also, if you want to talk about how the LHS coach should have been thrown out and that he shows no class, he was a coach at FS before he moved to the LHS program a few years ago. And you contradict yourself by saying the umpires bleed red and black but they also threw 2 LHS players out of the games and supposively should have thrown an LHS coach out as well. That makes a lot of sense. FS was on their home field as the home team and the 2nd rank team in the regional, how can they get "cheap" umpires? All of that has nothing to do with sportsmanship, it only shows that LHS plays and has more heart and a burning desire to win, and that was represented by the 8-1 stomping that ended FS's season. No school in the nation has a more winning tradition and attitude than Lawrence High School, the players know it, the coaches know it, the city knows it, and most of all the FANS know it. LHS had fans ranting the whole game while FS had a few people sitting on blankets all night. The difference is TRADITION, LHS has it and FS never will. We're glad you're proud that FS wins and loses with class, LHS won't accept defeat, that's why we're winners. Take a look in the LHS gym and see those banners, until then, you'd never understand. And don't you worry, we plan on representing Lawrence HIGH, not Lawrence (cuz this is our town), VERY well down in Wichita. Have fun listening on the radio.

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cs 6 years, 11 months ago

LHS continues to be on the pity pot. There poor sportsmanship continues to get worse with each rivalry. It peaked this week with 2 LHS baseball players being ejected and a coach who deserved to be. There fans don't cheer for their team they just sling trash talk at the opposing team. The umpires appeared to also bleed red and black as demonstrated with their poor calls at the plate and 2nd. This is recorded in the replays. We're proud that FS wins and looses with class. Their coaches coach with class and the fans cheer not stoop to the levels of LHS. We hope your fans players and coaches represent Lawrence better in Wichita then what has been demonstrated here.

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Leprechaunking13 6 years, 11 months ago

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Jacob Pool 6 years, 11 months ago

Congrats LHS...

For all the Freestate lovers... LHS will always be better!!! Way to go Lions!!!

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jedifunk 6 years, 11 months ago

Congratulations to Lawrence High! I am a former Firebird, but also a Lawrencian, and I can appreciate all athletes that make it to state.

But come on, Journal-World, surely you should know that the high school that has to fight for respect in this town every day is NOT Lawrence High. Give me a break.

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dougmarshall 6 years, 11 months ago

The dirtbags come through! I mean they hammered it! Can't wait to see them in Wichita!

Great season that is not over.

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plumberscrack 6 years, 11 months ago

Congrat's to Free State on a great season!

Playing without 'big' Ben Wilson in the lineup, definitely hurt Free State's chances. The Free State kids played their hearts out in his absense but just came up short.

Congrat's to LHS! They played well and deserved the win.

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