As losses go, this was an especially painful one for Lee’s Summit.
The Tigers and Raymore-Peculiar were locked in a pitcher’s dual May 7 at Legacy Park and in the end, the Panthers just had one more inning of pitching. Ray-Pec broke a 1-1 seven-inning deadlock with four runs in the eighth inning and escaped with a 5-2 victory over the Tigers.
Lee’s Summit, 15-10 after the loss, certainly had plenty of opportunities for a victory during the warm and windy afternoon. The Tigers had a 1-0 lead after the first inning and starter Sal Nunez was sharp on the mound.
And while Ray-Pec starter Kyle Wilson was also having a good day, the Tigers were managing to get runners on base. However, the Tigers wound up stranding nine of them. The sixth and seventh innings ended with Tigers at third base and Ray-Pec turning double plays.
“We had a chance to win but we didn’t do it,” Lee’s Summit senior Ryan Laddish said. “Then I didn’t pitch too well in the last inning.”
Laddish relieved Nunez in the seventh after the senior held Ray-Pec to one run, seven hits and three walks. After getting the first batter out in the eighth, Laddish gave up a single to Austyn Cochran.
Then the real trouble began.
With two outs, Laddish walked Jordan Vantrump. Dallas Hile, who was running for Cochran, went to third on a wild pitch. Then Josh Fultz walked, loading the bases.
Turner Wehmeyer, who had scored the Panthers’ lone run in the third, then walked on a 3-1 count for the go-ahead run.
“We like to be aggressive at the plate, but I talk to them about getting the count in their favor,” Ray-Pec coach Gary Renshaw said. “The guys I had up during that time are very good about working the count. That really turned things around them being patient and taking some pitches.”
Blake Skeed followed with a two-run single, and the Tigers were down 5-1 and in big trouble. They did get one run back in the eighth when Travis Simonin doubled and scored on a Laddish groundout, but the rally ended there.
Lee’s Summit took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Jake Singer doubled and scored on a single by Clint Jennings. But that lead lasted only until the top of the third when Wehmeyer drew a leadoff walk and came home on a single by Skeed.
Wilson, who went all eight innings for Ray-Pec, had seven strikeouts but he also gave up six hits and five walks.
So this one’s going to hurt. But Laddish didn’t expect the pain to last too long.
“We’ll bounce back,” he said.