Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

THUNDERSTRUCK ; Heights Overcomes 8-Run Deficit in Opener

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

THUNDERSTRUCK ; Heights Overcomes 8-Run Deficit in Opener

Article excerpt

WICHITA -- Just when Shawnee Heights was threatening to forge a tie or gain the lead Thursday in its Class 5A state baseball opener, storms delayed the first-round game at Eck Stadium.

Not the best situation. Not after the T-Birds looked out of it before scoring seven unanswered runs to pull within one of Mill Valley.

Despite the two-hour delay, Heights never cooled off. It capitalized on the bases-loaded situation it had going into the break and scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to rally past Mill Valley 11-9.

"It's like you hit the pause button," Heights coach Ryan Schmidt said. "You don't want to coach. I haven't had such a long delay, so I don't know what the procedure is.

"We let them get on their phones for a half-hour. It's like kids wanting to know when they're going to get there when they're in the back seat. We kept them inside, got the weather out of here and we were able to do our thing."

When play resumed, Arkansas signee Lucas Krull came on in relief for the Jaguars.

The T-Birds were instructed to make Krull throw at least one strike and the 6-foot-7 left-hander struggled with his control. Justin Armbruster and Dawson Pomeroy drew run-scoring walks to give Heights a 9-8 lead before Casey Wulfkuhle belted a two-run double for insurance.

"I felt like we had a cushion after those walks, confidence under our belt and we built on the lead," Wulfkuhle said.

Tension eased so dramatically that before he stepped into the box, Wulfkuhle kiddingly asked if he had to take a strike.

"I'm thinking, 'Are you for real?' but he was kidding," Schmidt said. "He wanted to hit. He always wants to hit. And that hit was huge."

Especially since Mill Valley scored a run in the seventh before Andrew Repp closed out the win by leaving two stranded. Repp was the fourth pitcher Heights used. Another reliever, Alex Manderino, got the win.

Four errors contributed to the 8-0 hole the T-Birds dug as the Jaguars batted around for five runs in the third and added two runs in the fourth. …

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