The Lee’s Summit Outlaws’ first game of the postseason pits them against a team they whipped twice to end their regular season. That can be both good news and bad news.
The Outlaws will open play in the American Legion Zone 2 baseball tournament against Warrensburg at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Hidden Valley Park in Blue Springs. That’s the same Warrensburg the Outlaws swept 6-1 and 8-0 in their regular-season finale Tuesday at Legacy Park.
So the Outlaws should go into the postseason with a bit of confidence. But overconfident? Outlaws manager Mark Bradford doesn’t believe so.
“I just think we have a better team than they’ve got,” Bradford said. “If we play well we should win.”
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Bradford’s main concern is the intensity level the Outlaws bring for the game. He’s hoping they head to Hidden Valley as zoned in as they were when they went to Sedalia July 2 and swept rival Post 642 13-0 and 11-7. Those were two convincing wins at on a field where the Outlaws have frequently struggled.
Bradford said he didn’t see that level of intensity against Warrensburg.
“We didn’t play bad or anything,” Bradford said. “They weren’t as intense as they can be. I hope we can go to the zone tournament like we did when we went to Sedalia. The guys were ready for bear that game.”
The Outlaws still played well enough to dominate both games, especially on the mound. Warrensburg managed only four hits over both games with a total of 18 strikeouts. Justin Root and Matt Campbell combined to allow three hits with no walks and five strikeouts in the first game. In the nightcap, starter Alex Fall struck out eight with a hit and a walk over four innings and Gunnar Gronberg fanned five with no hits or walks over three innings.
The Outlaws took a 3-0 lead in the first inning of the opener, scoring two runs on wild pitches and another on a passed ball. Hayden Bradford went two for two and drove in a run while Campbell and Jeremy Root also had RBIs.
Justin Root led the Outlaws’ offense in the second game by going three for four with two doubles and two RBIs. Justin McEnroe went two for four with an RBI while Jason Gonzalez and Oscar Medrano also drove in runs. The Outlaws blew the game open with a six-run sixth inning.
“We didn’t hit the ball real well until the end of the second game,” Bradford said. “We hit the ball well, but we hit it right at them which we’ve done a lot this year.”
The sweep gave the Outlaws a 29-10 record to end the regular season. They finished in the Zone 2 standings and are seeded second in the tournament. The top eight teams advanced to the zone tournament, and the top two from that will advance to the American Legion state tournament the following week in Sedalia.
Six Outlaws All-Stars
Six Outlaws - Hayden Bradford, Grant Hill, Justin McEnroe, Oscar Medrano, Justin Root and Jeremy Root – have been selected to play in the Zone 2 All-Star Game. The game will take play 7 p.m. Sunday at Hidden Valley Park.