When Lee’s Summit West High School baseball coach Jay Meyer assessed his team during the preseason, he kept coming back to one key question.
Outside of all-state pitcher Alex Lange, who would supply effective innings on the mound?
Meyer got another strong answer Monday, this time from junior Connor Lyon, who pitched four shutout innings in a 10-0 five-inning win against Suburban Red Conference rival Park Hill.
Lee’s Summit West improved to 10-3 and quickly regained form after a third-place finish in the Midwest Classic at Francis Howell in St. Charles.
“You can’t do much in the postseason with just one pitcher, so we knew we needed support for Lange on the mound,” Meyer said. “In high school baseball, throwing strikes is key, and we’ve had some guys go out there and compete. It’s not always real flashy, but they work hard. That’s all you can ask for.”
Lyon and senior Tyler Brough have carved out their spots in the Titans’ starting rotation behind Lange, the team’s unquestioned ace. Senior left-hander Jake Lalumondier, viewed as a consistent option in relief, finished off the shutout Monday.
Last season, Lange pitched six shutouts in nine starts last season and struck out 66 hitters in 54 innings. He had a 0.77 earned run average.
“The pitching staff is a lot deeper,” said Lange, who has signed to play at Louisiana State. “We can throw a lot of guys out there, and they’re all going to get outs. I’m confident in everyone we run out there. We’re playing good baseball right now.”
As the pitching staff falls into place, the Titans’ lineup is following suit.
Senior center fielder Monte Harrison paces that group. A Nebraska signee, Harrison batted .457 last season with six home runs and 21 extra-base hits in only 83 at-bats. He drove in 33 runs.
He collected three hits and stole four bases against Park Hill on Monday.
All nine starters reached base. Lange, Logan Geha, Ben Peterson and Grayson Handel each drove in two runs. Ryan Kayhill led off the game with a triple to left center.
“We’ve been taking a lot of good at-bats and hitting with two strikes and two outs,” Meyer said. “We’re really focused on not being easy outs anywhere in our lineup. We’re focused on having quality at-bats, hitting with two strikes and putting the ball in play with runners in scoring position. That’s going to be important for our lineup.”