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LJWorld.com weblogs The Dividing Line

LHS sophomore making his way as a relief pitcher

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It's not easy being a pitcher when your team trails by a few runs. One bad inning, and you can take your team out of the game. Pitch a good inning, and you can only hope your team can give you a lead.

Lawrence sophomore Daonte Lowery had to do even more than that on Thursday at LHS against Olathe North. He pitched in relief of senior starter Bryce Montes de Oca, who was firing 95-mph fastballs. Though the young left-hander throws a long ways from 90 mph, it was up to him to keep the game close after the Eagles jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Lowery filled in nicely for Montes de Oca, who pitched 1 1/3 innings because of his strict pitch count as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. After fighting through a couple of errors in the second inning, Lowery didn't allow a runner to reach scoring position over the next four innings. However, he gave up a few runs in the seventh.

"I was pretty happy. I mean other than last inning, I was fine," Lowery said. "I was composed. It was upsetting though."

In the seventh, the leadoff hitter found a hole for a single. Next, Lowery left a fastball up and it was drilled to the left-center gap and rolled all of the way to the wall. Lowery hit the next batter and then on a sacrifice bunt, he fielded his position well but his throw got caught in the sun and second baseman Brad Kincaid couldn't make a play on it.

Despite the seventh inning struggles, he kept the Lions in the game long enough for them to tie it in the sixth.

"I was really proud of Daonte and I thought he was really good," LHS coach Brad Stoll said. "He got one pitch up and the kid turned him around. Shoot, man, we’ll take that. I’m really excited about him."

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