After beginning the season 4-1 and winning their first tournament of the season, the Lawrence Raiders fell to Kansas City Millhouse, 14-3, Tuesday at Lawrence High’s stadium.
Four of the five Raiders pitchers threw complete games in last weekend’s Mid-America Tournament, but the American Legion baseball team was forced to use five pitchers combined in Tuesday’s game against Millhouse.
“A lot of the pitchers we have are also position players, so it is kind of hard to bounce back,” shortshop Corbin Francisco said.
Millhouse jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Raiders’ starting pitcher JD Prochaska hit the leadoff batter, who advanced to second base on a one-out single and then scored on a throwing error later in the inning.
Millhouse broke the game open with a three-run fourth inning, plated a run apiece in the fifth and sixth, scored another three runs in the eighth and capped the game with a five-run ninth inning.
“We haven’t had any big comebacks this year,” right fielder Trent Johnson said. “Usually we’ve already jumped on the team early, but we just have to keep focused. I don’t think we were really focused today.”
Similar to the Raiders, Millhouse also changed pitchers every couple of innings.
“(The Millhouse pitchers) changed speeds very well and kept our hitters off balance,” Raiders head coach Brad Romme said. “That is really the key to pitching, and that makes it tough on hitters for sure.”
The Raiders’ offense capitalized on errors by Millhouse to score one run in the fifth and two runs in the seventh inning.
Francisco led off the bottom of the fifth inning as he was hit by a pitch. He advanced to third base after a wild pickoff attempt and then scored on a wild pitch.
Johnson and Aaron Waldeck knocked in the Raiders’ runs in the seventh inning with RBI singles.
Despite not being able to come back and record the team’s fifth win of the season, Francisco believes the offense has some momentum going into the team’s next tournament after stringing together some hits late in Tuesday’s game.
“Baseball is a game of repetitiveness to me,” Francisco said. “Once one person gets a hit, it is kind of like a forest fire. It catches on, you know?”
The Raiders (4-2) look to put Tuesday’s loss behind them as they gear up for another five-game tournament Thursday through Sunday.
“We have some high expectations (after) winning the last one, because it is in the same place,” Johnson said. “There will probably be some of the same teams, too, so I think we will all figure it out. We will all come back and I’m sure we are going to win it again.”