Cole Mondi’s big day pushes LHS baseball to 10-6 win in Sunflower League opener
photo by: Chance Parker
The moment the ball left his bat, Lawrence High senior Cole Mondi knew it was gone. With one out in the fourth, Mondi sent a line drive roughly 360 feet over the right field fence for a solo home run.
“I’m glad it was my turn today with the bat,” Mondi said after Lawrence’s 10-6 win over Olathe Northwest Tuesday night at LHS. “As soon as I hit it, I was like, ‘I have a good feeling about this one.'”
Mondi spearheaded Lawrence’s best offensive showing of the young season. He went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored on a cold and windy night.
“He was really special today,” LHS head coach Brad Stoll said. “He’s just a special kid. The thing about Cole Mondi is that he cares so much about Lawrence High and cares so much about his teammates. And he’s just a winner.”
The performance in the Sunflower League opener pushed Lawrence’s win streak to four games, and the Lions are now 4-1.
The solo home run was Mondi’s second blast of his LHS career. (He also clubbed a homer against Olathe North as a sophomore.)
He had plenty of time to soak in what he had just done on his home run trot. He even glanced toward the LHS dugout as he rounded second base and saw the Lions going crazy in celebration.
That wasn’t a surprising reaction to the first homer of the season — and it was even less surprising since the homer came off Mondi’s bat. Stoll said Mondi is known as oneof the team’s charismatic leaders.
“He’s one of those kids that you want to follow and kids want to follow,” Stoll said. “If he has a bad night at the plate, he’s going to battle and then come out the next day and be hot. That’s what you got to love about him.”
photo by: Chance Parker
Mondi certainly led the way on Tuesday. He finished a double shy of the cycle, hitting a single, triple and home run and coming through in all four of his at-bats as the No. 5 hitter in the lineup. Mondi recorded a sacrifice fly during a three-run effort in the bottom of the first, which gave the Lions a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
In the second inning, Mondi delivered a two-run single to highlight a four-run frame. Following his home run in the fourth, Mondi added a one-out triple in the sixth. He was later scored on a base knock by right fielder Braden Hoffman.
Mondi even made a memorable defensive play. The left fielder bobbled a popup in the fifth before completing the snag with his bare hand.
The all-around performance came just a few days after Mondi had to exit the previous game — Saturday against Brandon Valley (S.D.) — with an injury. Mondi was back by Monday’s batting practice, where he started to show signs of being in the zone.
“I had a good session; everybody really had a great session,” Mondi said. “Especially when the bats are slow, just to have that day where you are kind of feeling it — that’s critical. I’m just glad I got it out of the way; I’m ready to get rolling.”
Third baseman Jack Stoll, who returned to the lineup after missing Lawrence’s 5-1 win on Saturday, also had a stellar showing at the plate. He started the game off with an RBI double and later drove in another run on a single in the third, and he added a pair of walks in his other two plate appearances as well.
“It feels exciting,” Jack Stoll said. “I really like this group of guys; we’ve been together for so long. It was just a fun night, a lot of action.”
Tuesday’s game was an example of what the Lions can do when they are in full force and firing on all cylinders.
Lawrence scored in every inning except the fifth, thanks in large part to a well-balanced attack. Leadoff hitter Devin Neal drew three walks. Catcher Karson Green also got on base twice via walks.
Hoffman drove in a pair of runs on two singles. Carlos Vasquez even finished with two RBIs on a hitless night. Blake Schimmel and Evan Bannister each scored a run in the bottom of the lineup, and August Reed had a base hit in the fifth.
On the pitching side, John Green, Reed Wilson and Jackson Dooley combined to hold the Ravens in check outside of their four-run outburst in the fifth. Green and Wilson posted three strikeouts apiece before Dooley closed the door with a scoreless inning to end the night.
“That was really a complete effort,” Brad Stoll said. “I think everyone in that lineup did something to help us out. It was a good night.”
Lawrence will host Shawnee Mission West at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
LHS 10, Olathe Northwest 6
ONW 1 1 0 0 4 0 0 — 6 runs 9 hits 2 errors
LHS 3 4 1 1 0 1 X — 10 runs 8 hits 0 errors
Pitching highlights: John Green 4 IP, 6H 6R 5ER 3K 2BB; Reed Wilson 2 IP, 3H 0R 3K 2BB; Jackson Dooley 1 IP 0H 0R.
Hitting highlights: Devin Neal 3 BB; Jack Stoll 2-for-2, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2B; Carlos Vasquez 2 RBI; Braden Hoffman 2-for-4 2 RBI; Cole Mondi 3-for-4, 4 RBI, 3B, HR;