With best regular season since ’85, Lancers baseball team looking for strong playoff showing

Jay Senter - May 21, 2014 7:48 am
Jerrod Ryherd says his SM East baseball squad played its best game of the year in the regular-season closer against SM South.
Jerrod Ryherd says his SM East baseball squad played its best game of the year in the regular-season closer against SM South.

“Revive ’85” isn’t a mantra just for Kansas City Royals fans. It applies to SM East as well.

SM East Baseball Regionals
Game 1 vs SM West
4 p.m. Wednesday
3&2 Baseball Complex Field 1
18300 W 87th St, Lenexa

The Lancers took the state baseball title that year — and at 15-5 this season, the 2014 Lancers have the best regular season baseball record since. Which means that expectations are high — for players and fans alike — as the Lancers start regionals play this afternoon.

The Lancers enter this afternoon’s first game against SM West with a good deal of momentum, having capped off their regular season last week with a 10-0, five-inning victory over SM South.

“It was the best game we’ve played this year,” said coach Jerrod Ryherd. “Pitching and hitting were both on. I’ve just been telling the guys to stay focused and keep that up.”

Despite the team’s strong finish to the regular season, the Kansas 6A playoff format leaves no room for error — or rest. The single-elimination format means that should the favored Lancers falter against the Vikings, their season would be over. If they do win, they’ll have to turn around it do it again just an hour later to stay alive: The regional championship game will be played just about an hour after the conclusion of the opening round game.

“The format is what it is, and you have to work with it,” Ryherd said. “Last year they made it into that regional final game. This year, they want to go on and play for state.”

Ryherd said he thinks his team, anchored by seniors, will be able to keep its composure even with the high-stakes format.

“We know each other really well, and how to work together,” he said. “The seniors aren’t nervous.”

The opening round regional game starts this afternoon at 4 p.m. at 3&2 Baseball Complex Field #1. The Lancers would face the winner of the Olathe South-Gardner Edgerton game in the regionals final should the beat SM West in the 4 p.m. game.

Lancers first baseman and pitcher Trey Austin led the Sunflower League with  a .516 season batting average, and was second in the league in RBI.
Lancers first baseman and pitcher Trey Austin led the Sunflower League with a .516 season batting average, and was second in the league in RBI.

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