There’s more to Lee’s Summit West of course than Monte Harrison and Alex Lange. But with two superstars like that in the lineup, there isn’t much more the Titans really need.
Take the Titans’ 10-3 victory over Raymore-Peculiar May 21 in the final of the Class 5 District 13 baseball tournament at Ray-Pec, for example. There was Harrison, being his usual disruptive force on the base paths, going three-for-three with a walk that kicked off the Titans’ nine-run third inning.
And then there was starting pitcher Lange, wobbling at times but still solid enough to hold Ray-Pec to four hits while striking out 14.
A powerful combination, indeed. And one that compliments what is already a tough Titans squad from top to bottom.
“That’s what a team is all about,” West coach Jay Meyer said. “You can’t win with one guy, but one guy can sure win it.
“I’m just surrounded by great people. And when you’re surrounded by great people and they work hard, they make me look good.”
Harrison’s athletic prowess has been well documented, and the three-sport star who will either play football and baseball at Nebraska next fall or wind up a major-league draft pick this summer put those talents on display.
He drew a leadoff walk in the third, and Ray-Pec had pitcher Ben Harris throw to first base three times before he threw a pitch to Logan Geha. Geha then laced a single, Harrison sprinted to third, and the floodgates opened.
“They just wanted to keep him honest in case of a double play, and it played to our advantage,” Meyer said, “It took a little focus off our hitters, and then we had some timely hits. And it just kind of snowballed.”
Harrison sprinted home on a wild pitch, and Grayson Handel followed later with a two-run triple that sailed over the left fielder’s head. Carson Pickard followed with an RBI single, another run scored on a wild pitch, and the Titans snuck in a run by sending Ryan Kayhill from third as the catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher after walking Privitera.
Harrison, the 10th of 12 Titans to come to the plate in the inning, tripled and scored on a groundout to complete the onslaught. He doubled and scored another run in the sixth.
“We executed some things very well,” Meyer said. “Monte set the tone. Sometimes you forget what an amazing athlete he is.”
Lange, meanwhile, kept Ray-Pec in check despite not having his best stuff. Mixed among the strikeouts were five walks and a hit batsman. He even walked the bases loaded in the seventh before finishing the game with his 14th strikeout.
“I felt good,” said Lange, who is signed to play baseball next year at LSU. “I got out of my mechanics a couple of times and let the moment get to me. But I didn’t give in, I didn’t quit, I just kept rolling.”
And the Titans, 27-3, will keep on rolling, right into a sectional matchup on May 27at Blue Springs South. The Jaguars, 21-11, beat Lee’s Summit North 6-1 in the Class 5 District 14 final at the Broncos Activity Complex.
“We’re excited,” Meyer said. “We’re looking forward to going over to Blue Springs South and giving them a game.”