Eagles sweep Monarchs at Larks Park
Published on -6/20/2012, 10:19 AM
By KLINT SPILLER
For Hays Legion baseball players, Tuesday was a special night. It was one of the few opportunities where players from Hays High School and Thomas More Prep-Marian get an opportunity to play one another.
They don't face each other during the school year, so this was a chance to capture crosstown bragging rights, with many of Hays High's players making up the Eagles and many of TMP's players forming the Monarchs.
But it wasn't a close contest as the Eagles swept the Monarchs at Larks Park, 7-0, 6-1.
Hays Eagles center fielder Dan Bittel admitted the crosstown rivalry was on his mind heading into the game, describing it as an "unsaid rivalry."
"It's always a rivalry against TMP," Bittel said. "We always want to beat them, and they always want to beat us. We came out on top today, which was nice."
The Monarchs (4-4) had their worst offensive performance of the season, as they couldn't find holes in the Eagles' defense. The Monarchs had just six hits in 14 innings.
"It was a bit of lackluster effort for the most part," Monarchs coach Dustin Schumacher said. "There were too many strikeouts and too many mental errors on defense.
"If you score one run in 14 innings, that kind of tells the story."
Eagles second baseman Riley Kaus has played with many of the Monarchs since he was little, but as he got older and went the public school route, many of his teammates went to Thomas More Prep-Marian.
Kaus said he enjoys playing against his old teammates and said it is more of a friendly rivalry.
"They are both good teams," Kaus said. "I think we all just came out to have a good time tonight and just see who could do better."
On Tuesday, it was the Eagles.
The Eagles had 17 hits in 12 innings and took advantage of runners in scoring position.
Eagles pitchers Tyler Wooldridge and Josh Heifner shared the load in Game 1. Wooldridge (3-0) lasted four innings and allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out four, and Heifner struck out four and gave up a hit in three innings.
The Eagles (16-3) team pitched Game 2, throwing five pitchers through seven innings.
Clayton Basgall (1-0) was credited with the win, lasting two innings. He didn't give up a hit, but he struggled a bit with his control, walking four.
"We have that Omaha tournament this weekend, so we didn't want to overextend anybody today," Eagles coach Brad Kelly said. "We wanted to keep everybody on a pretty strict pitch count."
Bittel led the Eagles at the plate in Game 1, going 3 for 3 with two doubles and a run scored, while shortstop Austin Unrein led the team in Game 2, hitting 2 of 2 and scoring two runs.
The Monarchs' lone run came in the sixth inning of Game 2.
Eagles pitcher Zack Legleiter relieved Basgall and walked the first two batters he faced and hit another with a pitch before getting pulled. Monarchs first baseman Pierce Schippers grounded into a double play on the next at bat but managed to drive in a run.
The Monarchs had more chances to score, but they couldn't get hits when they needed them.
They loaded the bases in Game 1 and Game 2 -- once with just one out and the other time with two outs. However, neither occasion resulted in runs being scored.
"Any opportunities that we had to do something good, we didn't get it done offensively or defensively," Schumacher said.
Kelly, who is relatively new to the community, said it just seemed like a normal doubleheader to him, but he said he can see how these games would be special to the players.
"Both teams have represented the community well over the past few years," Kelly said. "We are just glad we got the win."