Lions baseball ready for rematch

Revenge is on the mind of Lawrence High’s baseball players.

LHS will face Olathe Northwest in the first round of regionals at 2 p.m. today in Manhattan. The Ravens beat the Lions in their lone regular-season meeting, 4-2, on April 8 at ONW.

“Yeah, sure, you want to gain revenge, because if you gain revenge, then you’re in the championship game against Manhattan,” Lions coach Brad Stoll said. “We feel like it’s probably one of the toughest draws in the state, but I told the team that to be anything but excited would be wrong.”

LHS will likely send out senior right-hander Bryce Montes de Oca in the first game and try to save senior Brandon Bell for a possible rematch against Manhattan (18-2). The Lions lost to Manhattan, 2-0, in the regional finals last year.

The Lions own a 4-3 record in their last seven games, though two of the losses have been in extra innings. They won, 5-4, in a nine-inning thriller over Free State on Thursday in their regular-season finale.

“They’re confident right now,” Stoll said. “They’re pretty loose and laid-back, and we feel like we’re swinging the bats well, so it’s going to be a good day.”

LHS softball on a roll

Lawrence High’s softball team won five of its last six games and has plenty of confidence going into regionals today.

“We told the girls to play within themselves and not worry about doing anything extra,” LHS coach Joe Dee Tarbutton said. “‘Just do everything that you’ve been working on hard all season.’ I think we’re going in confident but not overconfident.”

The Lions (13-7) will play Topeka High (9-11) at 4:45 p.m. at the CBAC complex in Olathe. They practiced at Holcom Park in Lawrence on Monday to prepare for dirt fields.

Though the Lions nearly hosted a regional, earning a No. 3 seed, they aren’t worried about trying to win games on the road.

“I think we still will be fine,” Tarbutton said. “We played as well (home and away). I wish we could have played home for the fans, but as far as the girls are concerned, they’ll be fine.”

FSHS schedule changes

Free State High’s baseball and softball teams will play their regional games earlier than expected.

With the threat of inclement weather on Thursday, the baseball team (12-8) will face Topeka High (7-13) at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka.

The FSHS softball team (11-9) will play Olathe North (10-10) at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Washburn Rural.