The Piper Pirates used a big fifth inning to pull away from a tight game and got a complete-game pitching performance en route to a 9-3 win over the Lansing Lions Tuesday in the first game of a Kaw Valley League doubleheader.
Piper made it a sweep with an 8-7 victory in the nightcap.
The Pirates erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull away from a 3-3 game and Rene Evans made it stand up. The sophomore right-hander scattered nine hits while fanning six and walking three in seven innings.
The opening game of the doubleheader continued a busy week on the diamond for the Lions. Lansing played Gardner-Edgerton on Monday, had two KVL games against Piper on Tuesday and will host Basehor-Linwood in a KVL doubleheader on Wednesday.
The Lions got on the board first against the Pirates as Dakota Sill led off with a walk and scored on an error.
Piper took a 3-1 lead in the second inning, scoring three runs on just two hits. The Lions committed two errors in the inning to set up the rally. Evans and Kyron Fergus delivered run-scoring singles in the inning.
Lansing got a run back in the third inning when Peyton Basler doubled to lead off the inning. Eliott Wilk drove him home with a single.
The Lions tied the game 3-3 in the fourth inning when Claye Howard led off the inning with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Akin.
The Pirates broke the game open in the fifth inning. BJ Walker led off with a solo homer to left to put the Pirates on top 4-3. The Pirates banged out six runs on five hits in the inning, including a two-run double by Kimball Backus.
The Lions tried to rally in the seventh by loading the bases on a single, a walk and a hit by pitch, but Evans got a strikeout to end the threat.
Sill, Wilk and Caleb Adams each finished with two hits for the Lions.
The game featured a sentimental moment when Piper senior manager Alexander Falk was called on to pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth. It was his first at-bat in high school. As his teammates cheered, Falk worked the count full before striking out swinging.
In the second game, the Lions tied the game 7-7 in the top of the seventh on a wild pitch. But the Pirates won it in the bottom half on a single by Parker Bryant. Wilk led the Lions with two hits and three runs scored.