Four was the magic number in the first round of regional baseball for the Lawrence High and Free State High baseball teams.
For LHS, Alex Laughlin pitched a complete-game four-hitter, and Lawrence High, seeded fifth at regionals, knocked off No. 4 Washburn Rural, 4-1, Wednesday in Manhattan.
The victory earned the Lions a spot in tonight's championship game, where they'll play top seed Manhattan at 7:30 p.m. with a trip to the state tournament on the line.
Laughlin fanned seven batters and struck out the side in the second and fifth innings.
LHS scored three in the top of the second inning to take control of the game and rode Laughlin's arm to victory. The Lions threatened several more times but only were able to push one more run across.
Senior Ross Johnson was 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs and junior C.J. Roush was 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI.
Junior pitcher Garrett Cleavinger is expected to start in the championship game.
Firebirds blank Junction City
In other regional baseball action, second-seeded Free State shut out No. 7 Junction City, 4-0, at FSHS in Round 1.
J.D. Prochaska started on the mound and pitched the first five innings, giving up just three hits. He picked up the victory.
Colin Toalson pitched the sixth and seventh innings to earn the save, his third of the year.
Free State scored two runs in the second on RBIs from Montana Samuels and Dane McCullough. Joe Dineen added an RBI in the sixth.
The Firebirds will play No. 6 Leavenworth at 7 p.m., with the right to advance to next week's state tournament on the line. The Pioneers upset No. 3 Wichita Heights, 12-9, in Round 1.
Senior Cody Kukuk is expected to start for Free State.
Check back with www.ljworld.com throughout the night for more updates from regionals.