LAWRENCE — Little was expected of Derby’s baseball team this season. The Panthers were picked to finish last in their league, finished 7-11 in the regular season and was the ninth seed in their regional.
Derby got onto a run in the regional and, as the last seed in the Class 6A tournament, beat the top seed on Thursday. But Derby’s magic came to an end Friday, when the Panthers lost 9-4 to Olathe South in the semifinals, then lost the third-place game 8-2 to Blue Valley.
“When we went to regionals my goal, was to win one game, to win the first one and to get to the regional championship game, just so we can build on success. They blew my expectations away there,” Derby coach Todd Olmstead said. “We had a phrase here and we were ‘party crashing’ the whole time. The police finally caught us, I guess.”
In the semifinal, Olathe South’s offense was a huge barrier for Derby. The Falcons jumped ahead with a 2-0 lead, then added six runs in the third on six hits and two Derby errors.
Derby rallied in the fifth inning with four runs on four hits and one Olathe South error, but Olathe South rallied with another run.
“They’re good, they’re very good. They hit the ball very well and we couldn’t get an out, then we gave them a couple extra outs and you can’t do that at this level,” Olmstead said.
In the third-place game, Blue Valley scored four second-inning runs for a 4-1 lead.
Derby’s fourth-place finish might have not been what the team wanted from the tournament, but it was definitely more than it expected from Olmstead’s first year at coach.
“It’s bittersweet,” he said. “There’s 28 other teams that would probably give anything to be where we are right now. Everyone wants the big trophy, but we’ll settle for top four in the state. That’s pretty good.”
Winner X, Loser Y
|Visitor||Xxx||Xxx||xxx||—||x xx x|
|Home||Xxx||Xxx||xxx||—||x xx x|
Blue Valley 8, Derby 2
|Derby||010||100||0||—||2 6 2|
|Blue Valley||042||200||x||—||8 12 0|
W — Franey. L — Ash. HR — Blue Valley, Nelson.
O. South 9, Derby 4
|Derby||000||040||0||—||4 5 5|
|O. South||206||010||x||—||9 12 3|
W — Miracle. L — Segovia.