The Topeka Capitals earned a come-from-behind victory over the Lawrence Raiders, 7-5, in eight innings Tuesday at Lawrence High.
Things were looking bright for the Raiders going into the seventh inning, as Lawrence sat on a combined no-hitter and led Topeka, 5-2.
The Capitals scored two runs in the seventh and three runs in the eighth to come out on top, but Raiders coach Brad Romme was still pleased with the team’s overall pitching performance.
“It was great. We started putting some other guys in ... some position players (to pitch),” Romme said. “(The Capitals) had some balls that weren’t even hit hard that dropped in front of us, so there was no problem with the pitching.”
Matt Wagner started for the Raiders and did not allow a hit for the first three innings, but two passed balls, a wild pitch and a throwing error allowed the Capitals to push two runs across the plate in the third.
“A lot of that is either miscues by me or the pitcher or mistakes by me not getting over fast enough,” catcher Landon Hay said. “Obviously, I have to do a better job of that.”
Although Hay was frustrated with his defensive effort in the two-run third inning, he knocked in the Raiders’ first run after a triple by Corbin Francisco in the bottom of the second. He also had an infield RBI single to begin Lawrence’s four-run fourth inning.
With the game tied at 2-2 and the Raiders still batting in their half of the fourth, John Fellers lined a bases-loaded single into center field to give Lawrence a 3-2 lead and force Capitals pitcher Derrick Bohn out of the game. Will Edwards entered to pitch for the Capitals with the bases still loaded and no outs, but he limited the Raiders to two runs for the rest of the inning. Trevor Champagne hit a sacrifice fly and Matt Sutliffe was awarded a painful RBI after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Despite losing the game in final two innings, Romme is optimistic about how the team is playing entering its final tournament of the season June 26-28 in Pittsburg.
“I don’t think we’ve been to a tournament or showcase — the weekend stuff that we do — and didn’t come out 2-2 or better, and a lot of times we’re coming out 3-1 with limited pitching,” Romme said. “These guys have been battling all summer and now it is time to just go to the postseason and take care of our business.”
Lawrence will play a scrimmage against the 2006 Raiders team, which won the American Legion World Series, at 1 p.m. Sunday at Free State High.