Lawrence High state baseball
Lenexa It's an all-Sunflower League final at the 2009 Class 6A state baseball tournament.
After advancing to the title game with a 4-1 victory against Goddard on Saturday morning, the Lions (20-4) learned Saturday afternoon that their title-game opponent would be a familiar foe.
SM West knocked off Maize, 9-1, in the second semifinal.
The Lions and Vikings knocked off the top two seeds at state on Saturday by outscoring No. 2 Goddard and No. 1 Maize by a combined score of 13-2.
The afternoon upset was the second in a row for sixth-seeded SM West, which upended Wichita Northwest, 8-4, on Friday.
The Lions edged the Vikings, 4-3, in the only regular season meeting between these two squads.
The win was the Lions' fifth in a row at the time and improved them to 10-4 through 14 games. Interestingly, LHS senior Andy Urban picked up the win in relief of Dorian Green that night. Urban is scheduled to start tonight's title game.
Check back with LJWorld.com throughout the day for the latest from the field and for live, in-game updates throughout the championship game.
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.
Final: LHS 4, Goddard 1
Game over. Green strikes out Taylor Douglas to end the game. Lions win!!!
LHS will play the winner of Maize vs. SM West in the state championship game at 5:30 tonight.
Green's final line: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 7 strikeouts.
Lawrence High (20-4) finished with 4 runs on 9 hits. Goddard (21-3) finished with 1 run on 2 hits.
Out No. 2 is in the book, a groundout to Green. And the LHS fans are on their feet.
Green strikes out the first batter on a foul-tip strikeout. Two outs away.
No runs on one hit for the Lions in the seventh. No more messing around now. It's on to the final half inning.
Dorian Green has trotted back out to the mound with the Lions three outs away from a spot in tonight's 5:30 p.m. state championship game.
New pitcher for Goddard is Nathan Rausch.
6th Inning: LHS 4, Goddard 1
Goddard cracked the scoreboard with a run in the sixth, as Levi Meyer drove in Nathan Hyson with a one-out single to left. But Goddard ran itself out of what could have been a bigger innings. As Hyson crossed home plate and Meyer rounded first, Albert Minnis fired the ball to Aaron Rea who threw to Tanner Kilmer to tag out Meyer behind the play.
The final batter of the inning grounded out to Rea at shortstop and the Lions escaped with minimal damage.
On to the seventh, top of the order for LHS.
Goddard's Devin Welch struck out the side in the top of the sixth, as the strike zone appeared to expand just a bit in the inning.
Dorian Green and Landon Moseley went down looking to end the inning and Tyler Bailey struck out swinging to start things off.
In between the strikeouts, Tanner Kilmer walked but was stranded at first base.
5th Inning: LHS 4, Goddard 0
It was an eventful fifth for LHS, despite being retired 1-2-3.
Clint Pinnick led off the inning by being hit by a pitch but was then called out on an attempted steal of second base. Pinnick appeared to beat the throw but was called out because of batter interference at the plate on the throw. Albert Minnis was the batter in the catcher's way and he struck out on the play in question.
Next up, Jake Green struck out looking to end the inning.
4th Inning: LHS 4, Goddard 0
Goddard threatened again in the fourth, turning a walk into a runner in scoring position, but Dorian Green struck out the final batter of the inning by popping the mit to get the Lions out of the inning.
Green has now thrown 73 pitches through 4 innings.
The Lions have added to their lead with a productive fourth inning.
Albert Minnis picked up his fourth hit in his last five at-bats to get things started and later scored after a single from Jake Green, a fielder's choice from Tyler Bailey and an error by the Goddard third baseman on a hot shot from Tanner Kilmer. One batter later, Dorian Green singled over the head of the third baseman, which allowed Bailey to score from second base.
Landon Moseley followed with a single to left that scored pinch-runner Troy Willoughby from second. The throw home sailed high, allowing Chase McElhaney (who pinch ran for Green) and Moseley to advance to second and third.
Goddard has made a pitching change. No. 25 Devin Welch, a sophomore, is now on the mound for Goddard, relieving Kory Schroth, who lasted 3.2 innings and gave up eight hits and four runs.
3rd Inning: LHS 1, Goddard 0
No runs, no hits, no errors and no walks for Goddard in the bottom of the third. Dorian Green coerced the three hitters he faced into fly-ball outs.
After throwing 41 pitches through 2 innings, Green got the easy inning he needed in the third.
LHS cracks the scoreboard first in the third. Tanner Kilmer led off the inning with a single down the third-base line, advanced to second on a smooth sacrifice bunt from Dorian Green and moved to third after a balk on Schroth.
Then, with two outs, leadoff hitter Aaron Rea blooped a single into centerfield to score Kilmer from third. On the play, the center fielder dove to make the catch and the ball slipped behind him, allowing Rea to advance to third base.
2nd Inning: LHS 0, Goddard 0
Goddard became the first team to threaten in the bottom of the second when Dalton Demel walked and then advanced to third base on a double from Taylor Douglas. The Lions got the ball in quickly, however, and Dorian Green struck out the next batter to retire the side and leave runners stranded at 2nd and 3rd. Green, who has thrown 41 pitches through 2 innings, struck out two more in the second to bring his game total to four.
The Lions picked up their first hit of the day in the top of the second when Albert Minnis (yesterday's hero) singled sharply to left field. Minnis, however, was picked off of first and the Lions went down quietly after that.
The early indication here is that both pitchers are sharp and that both are willing to trust their defenses to make plays behind them.
1st Inning: LHS 0, Goddard 0
Dorian Green appears ready for this start. After striking out the first batter he faced, Green hit the No. 2 hitter in the leg but then quickly picked him off of first base before throwing another pitch. He then retired Goddard's Levi Meyer with a strikeout to end the inning.
Despite hitting three balls well — seemingly picking up where they left off yesterday — LHS was retired in order in the top of the first. Aaron Rea flied out to deep right, Devin Forio lined out to shortstop and Clint Pinnick flied out to deep center field.
Dorian Green now takes the mound for LHS, with the defense set the way it has been during the Lions' current 14-game winning streak.
9:45 a.m. Update
First pitch is now just minutes away. LHS and Goddard have both taken infield and Goddard is on the field first as the home team.
LHS is wearing white pants and black tops with the classic, red, white and black socks.
Goddard, also known as the Lions, is wearing white pants with blue tops and black caps.
Starting on the mound for Goddard is No. 2 Kory Schroth.
Well.... Here we go again.
When the Lawrence High baseball team (19-4) digs in for the first pitch of today’s 10 a.m. state tournament game against Goddard (21-2) at 3-and-2 Baseball Complex in Lenexa, the Lions will be in incredibly familiar territory.
The game will mark the third straight season that the Lions have reached the state semifinals, but today they’ll look to get past that obstacle for the first time since the 2000 team won it all.
Several members of this year’s team were on the roster or on the field during the two semifinal losses in 2007 and 2008. Many of this year’s seniors were starters on last year’s team, which knocked off Free State in Round 1 and then fell to Blue Valley, 2-0, in the semis. (Coincidentally, that was nearly the same Blue Valley team which LHS punished, 17-0, in 3 innings on Friday.).
A few of this year’s key players — Aaron Rea, Clint Pinnick, Dorian Green — were on the field in 2007 when the Lions lost to Blue Valley West, 7-5, in Wichita.
And all of them remember the brutal feeling of losing those games. It’s a feeling that has driven them all season, as this team’s unofficial mantra has revolved around the notion that they were tired of taking third.
So today, on the heels of one of the most lopsided beatings in state tournament history, the Lions will look to break their semifinal losing streak against top-seeded Goddard, which advanced to today by knocking off Sunflower League school Olathe South, 3-1, on Friday.
Senior right-hander Dorian Green (3-0, 0.88 ERA) is expected to get the start on the mound for the Lions. Green was the losing pitcher in each of the past two semifinals and after the game Friday he talked about how excited he was to get one more chance to make up for past failures.
"We're not going to be complacent, we're not going to be satisfied with (Friday)," Green said. "We're still two games away and our goal that we've had since our first day of practice is right there we just have to go get it."
The rest of the Lions feel good about their chances with Green on the mound, as well.
"Two years in a row he's lost a two-run ballgame in the semifinals," LHS coach Brad Stoll said. "Everyone knows Dorian. He will be so locked in (today), I would bet my house on it."
As we count down to the first pitch, here’s a look at the Lions’ projected lineup and batting order.
We’ll finalize the lineup when it becomes official and also bring you a look at Goddard’s lineup and any pregame updates.
No. 4 LHS (19-4)
1. Aaron Rea, SS
2. Devin Forio, 2B
3. Clint Pinnick, 3B
4. Albert Minnis, LF
5. Jake Green, C
6. Tyler Bailey, CF
7. Tanner Kilmer, 1B
8. Dorian Green, P
9. Landon Moseley, DH
In other action today, Maize (a 12-5 winner over Olathe Northwest) and Shawnee Mission West (an 8-4 winner of Wichita Northwest) will play in the other semifinal at 12:30 p.m.
The winners will play for the state title at 5:30 p.m. The losers will play in the third-place game at 3 p.m.
Stay logged on to LJWorld.com for more updates leading up to this morning’s first pitch and then follow along throughout the game as we deliver live, in-game updates after each inning.