Lenexa Final: LHS 17, BV 0
Dorian Green homers to right field to end the game. Lions win, 17-0.
LHS will play Goddard in the state semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Pinch hitter Lance Kilburn shows the hit parade is contagious by singling to center field to drive in Jake Green. The Lions are now one run away from run-ruling Blue Valley — 15 run spread after three innings — to end the game.
LHS adds another run on a two-out triple from Jake Green that scored Pinnick. Tyler Bailey walked and the Lions have runners at first and third with two outs.
At this point, it appears tougher for the Lions to get an out than a hit. LHS added run No. 12 on an RBI double from Devin Forio. That inspired Blue Valley to lift VanGerpen.
To recap, Rea is 2-for-2 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBIs; Forio is 1-for-2 with 3 runs scored and 1 RBI; Pinnick is 1-for-2 with 2 RBIs; and Minnis is 2-for-2 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs. Not a bad line for the first four batters in the order.
Now pitching for BV is No. 9, Ryne Stanek.
LHS adds two more runs on an RBI single from Landon Moseley and an RBI triple from Aaron Rea. Rea scored on the next at-bat when Devin Forio chopped a base hit over the head of the third baseman. For the first time today, chatter about a Round 1 run-rule -- 10 after five and 15 after three.
The Lions add to their run when Tyler Bailey scores on a wild pitch from VanGerpen. Bailey reached base with his second hit of the day to leadoff the inning and Tanner Kilmer followed with a double. Bailey then scored on the wild pitch and Dorian Green followed with an infield single.
Next up, Landon Moseley singled to center to score Kilmer.
The hits just keep coming. Fueled by his power at the plate, Minnis struck out the side in the top of the third inning. Again, the Blue Valley batters appeared to be completely overmatched, unable to touch anything Minnis offered. Two went down looking. The three K's in the third bring Minnis' game total to six. Six strikeouts and 6 RBIs in 2.5 innings. Not a bad start to the day.
2nd Inning, LHS 7, BV 0
Bam!!! Minnis strikes again. For the second time in two innings, Minnis hits a three-run home run to blow the game wide open early. Minnis' second homer of the day also cleared the left field wall, although this one didn't travel quite as far. It did, however, come with two outs. After racing out of the box like a greyhound after hitting the first one, Minnis had a much calmer home run trot after blast No. 2.
LHS pushed the score to 4-0 on an RBI sacrifice fly from Clint Pinnick. One batter later, Minnis struck again.
The second homer of the day inspired the Blue Valley coach to make a pitching change. Chesley was lifted in favor of Tyler VanGerpen, the pitcher who beat the Lions at state last season.
Minnis again faced the minimum in the top of the second inning. Joey Goodwin led off with a single -- BV's first hit of the day -- but then was punched out when Conner Combes grounded into a double play. Minnis then struck out the next batter to get out of the inning.
1st Inning, LHS 3, BV 0
Lawrence High roared out to a 3-0 lead on a three-run home run from Albert Minnis. Aaron Rea reached on a walk to lead off and then stole second and advanced to third on an error. Devin Forio then walked and after Clint Pinnick lined out to right, Minnis ripped the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a three-run bomb.
Clearly, the newest Lion is jacked up about making his first appearance in the state tournament.
Minnis faced just three batters in the top of the first inning, striking out two and coercing the leadoff hitter to ground out to first. The Tigers took several big swings but did not touch many of Minnis' pitches.
1 p.m. Update
Goddard won the opening game of the 2009 Class 6A state tournament, knocking off Sunflower League school, Olathe South, 3-1. Goddard is the top seed in the tourney and will play the winner of today's LHS-Blue Valley game at 10 a.m. Saturday.
At about five minutes to 1:00 p.m., the Lions took the field for infield warm-ups. LHS is wearing white pants and white tops with the red, white and black pinwheel hats.
Curiously, Blue Valley also is wearing all white, with black sleeves and black and white caps. Blue Valley is on the field now.
Here's a look at the starting lineups and batting order for both squads:
No. 4 LHS (18-4)
1. Aaron Rea, SS
2. Devin Forio, 2B
3. Clint Pinnick, 3B
4. Albert Minnis, P
5. Jake Green, C
6. Tyler Bailey, RF
7. Tanner Kilmer, 1B
8. Dorian Green, CF
9. Landon Moseley, DH
Jack Bush is playing left field but not batting.
Minnis gets the start on the mound for the Lions. This season the hard-throwing lefty racked up a 6-0 record and an earned-run average of 0.65.
He did not face the Tigers in the previous meeting between these teams in April.
No. 5 Blue Valley (17-4)
1. Derek Hackney, SS
2. Brian Peck, CF
3. Taylor Drake, 3B
4. Joey Goodwin, C
5. Conner Combes, 1B
6. Mitch Meyer, RF
7. Bobby Specht, LF
8. Landon Lucansky, DH
9. Tyler Disney, 2B
Junior Corey Chesley gets the start on the mound for the Tigers.
First pitch is now less than 10 minutes away. Both teams are standing in front of their dugouts and both appear eager to get started.
It’s a beautiful day for baseball at the historic 3-and-2 Baseball Complex in Lenexa. Sunny skies and gametime temperatures expected to approach 80 degrees figure to make the afternoon enjoyable for everyone on hand.
Of course, for the Lawrence High baseball team, which enters today’s first-round Class 6A state tournament matchup with Blue Valley looking to begin its quest for the 2009 state title, the only way the day will be deemed a success is with a victory.
The Lions and Tigers will toss out the first pitch of today’s 4 vs. 5 matchup at 1:30 p.m. It will mark the third game in what has become a heated rivalry during the past two seasons.
The first meeting between these two teams came in last year’s state semifinals in Topeka. After the eighth-seeded Lions knocked off top-seeded Free State in Round 1, they were blanked by Blue Valley, 2-0, in the semis, marking the second straight season the Lions had come within one game of playing for a state championship.
Nearly 11 months later, the Tigers and Lions locked horns at Kansas University’s Hoglund Ballpark on April 16, this time in the first game of the River City Festival. Unlike the previous meeting, this game featured a ton of offense as the team’s combined to drive in 15 runs, none bigger than Landon Moseley’s walk-off single in the seventh that scored Dorian Green.
At the time, the Lions called the victory a small dose of payback for the loss in the state semis in 2008. But the real quest for revenge comes today. It’s a winner-moves-on, loser-goes-home scenario for both squads and that figures to make today’s game one of the most intense in recent memory.
Stay logged on to LJWorld.com throughout the day, as we’ll have updates leading up to the first pitch and live, in-game updates after each inning.
Before we leave for now, however, let’s take a look at a few eerie comparisons between this team and the 1996 state championship squad that became the first in school history to win a baseball state title. These tidbits come courtesy of 1996's starting catcher Shane Wedd, who, along with Nick Wood, JD Loudabarger and Shaun Edmondson, spoke to the 2009 Lions before Thursday’s practice about just how special the feeling of winning a state title is for all involved.
* Like the ‘96 Lions, this year’s team enters the Class 6A state tournament with an overall record of 18-4.
* Also like the ‘96 Lions, this year’s team enters the state tourney on a 13-game winning streak. The Lions’ last loss came on April 17 at the hands of perennial 5A power Bishop Ward. Since then, this team has won every game it has played by an average score of 6-2.
* The 1996 state tournament was played at 3-and-2 Baseball Complex, the very same site of this year’s tournament. The complex has grown up a little in the 13 years since the Lions won it all here, but it sits in the same spot as it did then.
Fate? Perhaps. Only time will tell. That’s all for now, but check back soon for more from this year’s Class 6A state tournament in Lenexa.
Driving Directions to 3-and-2
For those of you still thinking about making the trip over to support the Lions, here’s a look at the easiest route to take.
1. Travel east on K-10 for approximately 24 miles.
2. Exit at K-7 and head north for approximately 2.4 miles.
3. Exit off of K-7 onto W. 83rd Street and turn right (east).
4. Travel east on 83rd Street (which turns into 87th) for approximately 3 miles. The complex will be on your left-hand side and the game will be played on Field 1 at the East Complex.
Here’s the link to Google Maps for driving directions.