SM East’s Wentz, Vermillion put on a show for fans, scouts in win over Olathe East

Joey Wentz blasted a two-run homer to deep center field in the first inning.
Joey Wentz blasted a two-run homer to deep center field in the first inning.

The scouts and professional baseball writers huddled behind the home plate cage at SM East didn’t have to wait long to get what they’d come for Tuesday.

SM East senior Joey Wentz notched the first of his 13 strikeouts in the top of the first inning, lighting up 90-plus miles an hour on the radar guns pointed his way. In the bottom of the first, he blasted a home run deep to center field, scoring Jake Randa to make it 2-0.

And the thing is, Wentz didn’t even have the best day at the plate for the Lancers. That distinction goes to Zebulon Vermillion who hit two home runs in the Lancers’ 5-0 win over Olathe East.

The win ended a two-game skid for the Lancers, who dropped games to Rockhurst and Lawrence High School last week — losses that will likely knock the Lancers out of the national rankings.

But by the looks of things Wednesday, SM East may have gotten its groove back as it heads into the final week of the regular season. The Lancers take on district rival Leavenworth on the road Thursday, and then have another away game at Blue Valley Southwest on Friday. The Lancers will get to wrap up the season with back-to-back games on the SM East field against SM South and St. James Academy next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Then its time for the top-ranked team in the Kansas to turn its attention to the goal that’s eluded it the past two years: a state title.

More than a dozen scouts and baseball writers gathered to watch SM East's prospects in action.
More than a dozen scouts and baseball writers gathered to watch SM East’s prospects in action.
Wentz struck out 13 and gave up just one hit in six-innings of scoreless work for the Lancers.
Wentz struck out 13 and gave up just one hit in six-innings of scoreless work for the Lancers.
Zeb Vermillion's two homers gave the Lancers bench plenty to grin about.
Zeb Vermillion’s two homers gave the Lancers bench plenty to grin about.