SM North baseball trying to turn it around
LAWRENCE — Even though Shawnee Mission North turned in two impressive games of pitching, their bats could not stay consistent, losing two in a row at the River City Baseball Festival over the weekend.
The Indians lost to Topeka Hayden, 4-1, on Saturday and to Rockhurst, 2-1, on Friday.
“We can learn from the mistakes we made today and just build on it on every day one game at a time,” SM North coach Grant Dreiling said.
The Indians jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as junior Dallas Carr drove in senior Matt Maynard, who scored after he led off the game with a single.
Maynard was the only player to reach base every plate of appearance for SM North. He also recorded two walks in his next two at bats.
SM North only managed to scrape together two hits over the next six innings.
Junior Joel Steelman took the mound for the Indians on Saturday with four-and-one-thirds innings with three hits, three walks and a strikeout.
“He’s had better days, but when he gets in the zone and starts feeling it, he’s a tough pitcher,” Dreiling said.
After holding the Wildcats down for three innings, senior Kyle Latendresse crossed the plate after drawing a leadoff walk in the fourth inning.
During the fifth, senior Jonan Strole and junior Philip Rineberg scored to boost Topeka Hayden’s lead to 3-1.
The Wildcats added one more against the Indians when junior Jacob Tetuan scored after leading off the inning with a walk.
“Any time you’re going to give free base runners it’s hard to win ball games,” Dreiling said.
It’s been a difficult season for the Indians as they’ve dropped several games that they hoped to win.
“We’ve got to start hitting, plain and simple,” Dreiling said. “We’re struggling to produce runs. That’s our main area of improvement.”
For now, SM North hopes it can get the bats going and some solid pitching performances in order to make a run at regionals.
“Guys are staying strong and fighting,” Dreiling said. “We’ve lost a lot of games, but it’s a great quality team.”