High School Sports

Practice pays for Kapaun baseball

Kapaun Mount Carmel started its baseball season about a week-and-a-half after most schools in the City League. Coach Steve Lienhard said that the extra time on the practice field is a chief reason his squad is off to such a hot start.

Kapaun beat Heights 16-3 in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday night improving to 5-0.

"We had a whole month of practice, "Lienhard said. "I'm a new head coach at Kapaun. A couple of (assistant coaches) have been around for a while, but it gave us time to teach and really go through a lot of fundamental work.

"I think the extra time of not playing that last week of March really helped us. We got a little hungrier too. We knew that everybody else in the entire state of Kansas had played a baseball game but us."

Similar to their prior four wins, the Crusaders jumped ahead early. They put up five runs in the first inning, showing patience at the plate to load the bases with three consecutive walks. Eric Peters capitalized by hammering a triple to the center-field fence.

Christian Laubhan one-upped his teammate with a grand slam in the top of the seventh to give his team a 16-2 lead and officially close the door on the Falcons.

"Yeah, it felt really good to hit that grand slam," Laubhan said. "We finally put them away instead of giving them a chance to come back."

Laubhan also had a double and walked twice.He said that the extra time with coaches and teammates on the practice field was definitely a factor in his performance.

"It's helped a lot. Coach Lienhard has helped us in batting practice and fielding good," Laubhan said. "We look to come out and win everyday."

Kapaun starter Michael Reynolds went four innings and picked up the win. He credited the guys behind him for making plays to make his job easier.

"Knowing that they'll make plays if the ball's hit helps me out a lot," Reynolds said. "It makes me feel like I don't have to get strikeouts every time. I can just throw to contact and my defense will help me get the outs that I need."

Kapaun16, Heights3

Kapaun520 100 8 — 16 13 0 Heights100 010 1 — 3 4 1

W—Reynolds. L—Welch. HR—Kapaun, Laubhan, Hesse.