Tournament leads off baseball season for Lee’s Summit teams

dmcqueen@lsjournal.comApril 2, 2014 

If Lee’s Summit North continues its early season trend, it could be an interesting year for the Broncos.

North only won two of its five games in last week’s KC Metro Leadoff baseball tournament, but it won both of them in thrilling fashion. After beating Raymore-Peculiar 10-9 in its last at-bat March 28, the Broncos turned around and beat Oak Park 13-12 for another walk-off win in their next game.

“We did show that we could battle back and win late in some games,” North coach Jeff Diekmann said.

North couldn’t repeat those performances in its final tournament game when it lost to Blue Springs 6-5. The Broncos were down three in the seventh inning but their rally fell one run shy.

Diekmann said his team, which fell to Park Hill 6-3 and to Rockhurst 15-5 in its first two games, struggled on the mound during the week.

“We found that we need to be more efficient with our overall command,” Diekmann said. “Several pitchers struggled with their location and therefore couldn't pitch more than a couple of innings with their pitch count.”

None of Lee’s Summit’s three teams placed among the top three in the tournament, which took place at Legacy Park and the North and West fields. But all three found something positive to take from the week.

Lee’s Summit coach Jim Mellody was pleased with his young team’s 3-2 effort, which placed the Tigers fifth overall. Lee’s Summit scored victories over Oak Park (9-4), Grain Valley (10-3) and Park Hill (9-3) and lost to Liberty (9-3) and Lee’s Summit West (11-3).

“I only had two returning starters from last year’s team, so this was a brand new team,” Mellody said. “And they are mostly juniors. So the fact that we are so young and inexperienced, and we still went 3-2 to finish fifth overall in the tourney is encouraging.”

Lee’s Summit West got its season off to an encouraging start with a 4-1 showing. Along with its win over Lee’s Summit, the Titans beat Blue Springs 8-4, Smithville 10-5 and Park Hill 5-1. Their only loss came against Staley, 4-2.

Staley took first in the tournament, followed by Rockhurst and Liberty.

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