High School Sports

High School Sports

It’s the little things: Free State baseball trounces Olathe East, but isn’t perfect

Free State’s Preston Schenck drives in a run during Free State’s game against Olathe East on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at FSHS.

Free State’s Preston Schenck drives in a run during Free State’s game against Olathe East on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at FSHS.

April 6, 2011


If coach Mike Hill is right about his Free State High baseball team, the rest of the Sunflower League — and Class 6A programs in Kansas — have quite a bit to worry about.

Because after the Firebirds throttled Olathe East, 13-3 in six innings, on Tuesday evening at FSHS, Hill and the boys were only moderately pleased with their outing.

“You win 13-3 and it looks like a great performance,” Hill said. “But there were a few things underneath that we’ve got to correct to become the kind of team we want to be at the end.”

There was a first-inning error that led to an unearned run, a few wild pitches after strikeouts, and a few missed signs, as Hill pointed out.

Aside from that, Cody Kukuk struck out 12 in five innings and the Firebirds pounded out 13 hits, including four straight to open their four-run first inning.

FSHS (4-0) scored two more runs in the second, five more in the third, and ended the game with two in the sixth — a home run by Montana Samuels and a sacrifice fly by Joe Dineen.

Colin Toalson doubled twice and scored three runs, Lee McMahon had three singles, and Kukuk had two hits, including a bases clearing triple in the third.

The Hawks (1-3) also didn’t help their cause by committing four errors, but all — except a handful — of FSHS’s 13 hits were crushed.

“We were able to get some balls in the air,” said Samuels, who also doubled in a run. “Early, the wind was blowing out really hard, which is nice to have. But we were able to get pitches we were able to hit and put good contact on the ball.”

When he wasn’t blowing hitters away with his fastball or freezing them with his curve, Kukuk, at times, struggled with his command.

Kukuk (3-0) walked three and twice saw a runner advance to first after throwing a wild pitch on the third strike.

“I feel like I didn’t have my best stuff,” Kukuk said. “But you just keep working through it, pumping strikes.”

Hill left Kukuk on the mound precisely so Kukuk could extend his pitch count and work his way out of jams, and the senior lefty rose to the occasion.

Despite loading the bases in the fifth inning, Kukuk settled down and struck out O-East outfielder Scott Freeman to end the threat.

“He’s not going to be dynamite every time he steps on the mound,” Hill said. “He was good today. The expectation is he’ll be unhittable and strike everyone out. The thing that pleased me most was what he did at the end.”

The Firebirds play at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at Olathe North.


sierraclub 7 years, 2 months ago

A nice performance from an outsider from Perry-LeCompton.

Kash_Encarri 7 years, 2 months ago

Actually, I believe it is closer to McClouth, but don't let that and the fact that his family went through all of the proper channels over four years ago to get the out of district transfer approved.

Kind of hard to believe a family would want to send their kid to a school in a larger neighboring city, that offers more programs and better prepares the kid for college. How dare they try and help out their child and follow the rules at the same time.

CardHawkFan 7 years, 2 months ago

Keep up the good work fellas! I need to get out to see a game.

LTownBaby 7 years, 2 months ago

Nice to see the kid that lives in Alvamar (LHS district) get his name mentioned in the FSHS baseball article (Dineen)

Clickker 7 years, 2 months ago

Get used to that (Dineen). And as far as the Pitcher from FS being from out of town, LHS has a number of BB players that live in the Baldwin district.

Kash_Encarri 7 years, 2 months ago

Not to mention Mosiman, from the basketball team, lives in Free State area but his mom and stepdad have properties all over town.

It goes on in all sports as well as on the academic side and it goes both ways. Lawrence should just have an open enrollment policy, but make it a pain for the kid to move to change to the other school once he/she has made that initial decision.

Clickker 7 years, 2 months ago

They may own properties all over town, but he is registered at his actual address where he has lived for a number of years. South of 15th.

Kash_Encarri 7 years, 2 months ago

Mom and stepdad - who he lives with - live north of 15th and have for years. He is using the dad and stepmom's address in order to go to LHS.

Kash_Encarri 7 years, 2 months ago

Like I said above though Kenny, if they'd just open it up like they do in Olathe we wouldn't even have to go through these charades. Kids could go to the school of their choice upon entrance of high school. If they want to switch after making their initial choice then they need to have a very good reason for doing so. Heck, your kids could have gone to Free State then and not have to drive from west Lawrence to the eastern side of central Lawrence.

Clickker 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm not Kenny...Clickker refers to my hobby as a dog trainer....but I do beleive he lives in the same neighborhood as Kris & Tom ( or at least did live there)

kujayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

Don't you remember, it's not about sports. At least that's what the school district said when they split the high schools, so quit making it about sports. Let the kids go to whatever high school they want to go to, just like they do in Olathe and Blue Valley. Congrats Free State!

CardHawkFan 7 years, 2 months ago

On top of the academic options, the two public high schools in Lawrence play in the premier baseball league in the state, which allows these kids to excel in athletics, too. Good education and the opportunity to foster your talent athletically as well, how dare these parents try and provide this type of experience for their kids!

dougstremel 7 years, 2 months ago

Great to see the Firebirds tearing it up again this season.

Not-so-great reading the same old "out-of-town" and "cross-town"comments from the arm-chair-clowns. We've heard it a hundred times, and it's still boring.

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