It took nearly a full day longer than expected for SM East’s baseball team to make its 2016 State 6A tournament debut. And when the Lancers finally took the field at Hoglund Stadium yesterday after getting rained out on Thursday, they took out some pent up energy on Wichita West’s pitching staff.
The Lancers belted six extra base hits – including a double from catcher Henry Churchill that he extended to an inside-the-park homerun on a Wichita West error — on their way to an 11-1 win that advances them to semifinal play today.
Coach Jarrod Ryherd credited his team’s defense with stifling Wichita West’s attack early, as a few timely flashes of leather and spot on throws turned potential hits from the Pioneers into outs.
On the offensive side, Jake Randa opened scoring on the night by driving in Zeb Vermillion on a double in the first. Luke Anderson went four for four on the night with a double and a triple.
Vermillion pitched for the Lancers, going six complete innings with four hits, four walks and four strikeouts. He threw 95 pitches.
The win earned SM East the chance to take on Washburn Rural this afternoon in the second semifinal game of the day. (The semifinal rounds were postponed Friday afternoon on account of weather). Blue Valley and Lawrence Free State will play at 10 a.m. The SM East-Washburn Rural game will start 20 minutes after that game concludes with the state title game coming after that.