Ian Henricks’ solid outing on mound not enough in LHS baseball’s loss to Olathe South

OLATHE–For the final time this season, Lawrence High baseball coach Brad Stoll embraced his seniors.

Once the rest of his coaching staff gave their closing remarks to the entire Lions team, minutes after their season ended, Stoll pulled his seniors aside for a private moment.

He tightly hugged each of them. But when Stoll got to starter Ian Henricks, tears flowed from both player and coach while they embraced for an extended period of time.

Henricks turned in one of his best starts of the season on Wednesday against Olathe South, striking out five batters in six innings of work. However, the Lions ultimately came up short in a 1-0 loss to the Falcons in the regional semifinals at College Boulevard Activity Center.

Still, the fact that the Lions are losing 10 seniors to graduation hit Stoll harder than the loss itself.

“I’m just going to miss going to practice with them. I’m going to miss arguing with them about what’s better, current hip-hop, or my genre of hip-hop,” Stoll said with a wide smile. “I’m going to miss a lot of that stuff. I’m going to miss how hard they played, and all the comebacks we had. It just didn’t work out today.”

Henricks held Olathe South scoreless for the first five innings before he found himself in trouble in the sixth.

After Jackson Rice and Brandon Ryan each reached on singles in the inning, they executed a double steal with one out. Jacob English then lifted a sac fly to center field, which allowed Rice to score the lone run of the game.

Still, Henricks was successful on the mound for most of the afternoon. He retired seven of the first eight batters he faced and pitched out of early trouble in the third.

“I’m really proud of Ian Henricks, he was absolutely marvelous,” Stoll said.

Henricks’ progression over the past few years hasn’t gone unnoticed by his coach. Before his start this week, Stoll reminded Henricks of an unsuccessful start he made against Blue Valley North almost a year ago.

“We couldn’t get the bullpen hot enough, he was so bad,” Stoll said with a laugh.

After Henricks battled and dazzled in a gritty pitchers’ duel against Olathe South starter Jon Moll on Wednesday, Stoll said Henricks did everything he could to try and keep the Lions’ season alive.

“I’m really glad that’s my lasting image of that kid,” said an emotional Stoll.

LHS (8-13) just couldn’t supply enough offense for Henricks. The Lions tallied only four hits on the afternoon. Senior outfielder Reese Carmona was the only Lion to record an extra-base hit when he doubled down the right field line in the sixth.

“We couldn’t get it done (offensively), unfortunately, to give (Henricks) some support he needed,” Stoll said.

However, as Stoll looks back on his time with Henricks, he said he will always be proud of the steady progression he saw from him. And Henricks’ final start for the Lions will serve as proof of that for Stoll.

“That was really special to watch … we challenged him all week to just be Ian,” Stoll said. “He didn’t need to be anything else but Ian, and he was a really damn good Ian today. That was awesome, that was really awesome.”

Lawrence High 000 000 0 — 0 4 0

Olathe South 000 001 x — 1 3 0

W–Moll. L–Henricks.

2B–Carmona, LHS; Eli Rose, OS.

LHS highlights–Henricks, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K; Carmona, 1 for 3; Harris, 1 for 3; Ethan Taylor, 1 for 2; Payton Cummins, 1 for 2.

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