Raiders sweep Burlington in opener

It was a learning experience for just about everyone involved with the Osawatomie Raiders as they opened their 2010 summer season with a home doubleheader with Burlington at the Karl E. Cole Sports Complex on June 2, 2010.

The Raiders were looking to build on the 2009 season which saw them go 30 and 14 and advance to the Zone 3, American Legion tournament championship game. The Raiders were looking to fill some holes, replacing five members of that 30 win squad, as well as mixing some new faces into this years squad.

Head Coach Ron Maring had to like what he saw from his team, as they swept the visiting team from Burlington in the two game set, winning the first game 5-3 and taking the night cap 4-2 on the strength of a 4 run rally in the fourth inning.

The Raiders jumped to a quick 1-0 lead, scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning, as Austin Chisam walked to lead off the game, and later scored on a two out single off the bat of newcomer Austin Porter. Burlington picked up the game tying run in the top of the second, on the strength of a lead off triple, but that would do it for the Burlington bats until the sixth inning and by that time it was too late.

The Raider bat were not exactly on fire in the first game, as they were held to just one hit through the first three innings, but in the fourth, the Osawatomie bats began to come alive and they were able to push across three runs on two hits and a Burlington error to open a 4-1 lead.

In the fourth Daine Needham singled to start the inning, Porter drew a walk, and then Needham scored on a ground ball out to the shortstop by Cody McNutt. Drew Needham singled to drive in Porter and later scored on a wild pitch to give the Raiders the 4-1 advantage.

The Raiders continued to build on the previous inning’s momentum in the bottom of the fifth, as Daine Needham reached base on a two out single and scored the Raiders fifth run of the game on a Porter double. The 5-1 advantage turned out to be enough, as Burlington pushed across two runs in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 5-3 but could get no closer, and the Raiders had a season opening 5-3 victory.

The second game was a little more thrilling, as Burlington grabbed the early advantage, scoring twice in the top of the second on four base hits and a Raider error to take the early 2-0 advantage.

The Raiders had opportunities in the opening innings of the second game, as they loaded the bases in the first on three straight walks to Travis Marsh, Daine Needam and Porter, but a strike out and a fly ball to shortstop ended the inning. Another walk in the second inning to Cody Applegarth got the Raiders another base runner, but again they could not get a run scoring hit. Again, in the Burlington pitching issued a free pass to the Raiders, this time walking Marsh, who moved on to second base on a steal, but two straight strike outs ended the third and the Raiders trailed 2-0.

Osawatomie finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning, as two hits, three more walks and an error allowed the Raiders to push across four runs and take the lead for good.

The Raiders got a one out single from Derrick Keuser to start the fourth inning rally, Morgan Roth and Applegarth both drew walks to load the bases and Kueser scored on a single off the bat of McNutt. Osawatomie scored the game tying run on a double steal and then took the lead for good in the five inning, game as Austin Chisam hit a ground ball to third. A throwing error on the play allowed two more runners to score and gave the Raiders the final 4-2 margin.

The Raiders will next be in action at the Jim Allen Wood Bat Tournament in Ottawa on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 4, 5, & 6, 2010.