It’s no surprise that Lawrence High’s baseball players are swinging the bats well early in the season. The Lions feature some of the top hitters in the Sunflower League. However, the bottom of the order has been much better than anyone could have anticipated.
“Really, the bottom half has been giving us some nice sparks,” LHS coach Brad Stoll said. “A kid like Ryan Walter, who didn’t get too many at-bats as a junior, stepped in and had a really good start to the season in the (designated hitter) role. Jacob Seratte’s had some clutch at-bats. ... It’s nice to see some of those guys step up and do some things.”
The Lions started the season with a 2-1 record, crushing Topeka Seaman, 8-1, on Friday.
On the mound, Stoll has leaned on Easton Barnes, Parker Kirkpatrick, Michael Sinks and Brad Kincaid for innings, along with senior ace Brandon Bell, who struck out seven over five innings against Seaman.
LHS will play host to Shawnee Mission West at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The Lions will honor Travis Sanders, a former player who died in a car accident in October, with a moment of silence before the game, with his family and former players in attendance. The Lions will wear patches on their home jerseys in memory of Sanders.
LHS swimmers surprise
Lawrence High girls swimming coach Kent McDonald knows he has a young team, and it’s going to take time for the Lions to adjust fully to the high school level, but they have already had some early success.
LHS qualified for the state tournament in all three relays, and freshman Mary Reed-Weston qualified in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley at the Emporia Invitational on Thursday.
The Lions will also get a boost from their divers this season. Senior Allison Williams took first in Emporia while Ashley Ammann finished sixth. Freshman Hannah Reed is still developing her dives but should help out once she masters the necessary six to compete.
“We need to get points wherever we can get them, so that’ll help,” McDonald said.
The Lions will swim in the Lawrence Invite at 3:30 p.m. today against five other teams.
FSHS swimming starts strong
Free State High’s girls swimmers, runners-up at last year’s Class 6A meet, picked up where they left off by winning the season-opening Emporia Invitational last week.
“It was so fun. The girls swam really well,” FSHS coach Annette McDonald said. “There’s lots of room for improvement always. But it kind of set the stage for, ‘Hey, I think we’re pretty good.’ I think they’re pretty motivated to work hard and to do whatever it takes to swim well.”
The Firebirds will travel to the Manhattan Invite at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.