Category Archives: LOST

Disappointing finish for ESU baseball, softball


Seems weird to write that a team had a disappointing finish when they both DID make it to an NCAA Regional … but I think, in this case, it fits.

As far as the baseball team goes, the amount of success Emporia State has had under Bob Fornelli is really incredible — he’s single-handedly turned the Hornets into one of the elite teams in NCAA Division II.  But I think even he would admit (I hope he would admit, anyways) that one year after finishing as the national runner-up, the preseason No. 1 team in America, with a handful of preseason All-Americans … that this team came up short. No MIAA regular-season title, no MIAA Tournament title, and then this. Was it the weight of expectations? Only the people in the locker room know for sure. But I can’t help but think this wasn’t in line with what they had planned for the season.

The ESU softball team is more of a hard-luck tale. Their greatest disappointment has got to come from losing in an NCAA Regional that they’re hosting — compounded by the fact that both losses came to the same team, Angelo State, and both came after blowing leads. In this case, the expecations didn’t come so much before the season as during it, when the Hornets blistered the rest of the MIAA, winning both regular season and league tourney titles. Here’s the thing about ESU, though … they bring almost everybody back, including both ace freshman pitchers in Paige Ladenburger and Jennifer Heerey. If I were a betting man (which I’m not) I’d say they’d be a no-brainer top 5 pick next year and one of the prohibitive favorites to win the 2011 national title. That’s just too much firepower coming back.


Weekend woes for Newman and Fort Hays … but not Friends … and then some more problems for Tigers

Just thought I’d check in and feed the monster after the big weekend — both Newman and Fort Hays lost over the weekend, falling to Incarnate Word and NW Missouri, putting the Tigers in a tie for first place in the MIAA … until they lost at Missouri Western, 75-69 on Monday. Friends, however, held on at No. 1 in the KCAC with a win over Saint Mary. What’s it all mean? It measn that Newman has a grueling road trip coming up — five straight away from Wichita — that will pretty much determine its season. It means Fort Hays saw its 13-game winning streak snapped, but they were bound to slip up somewhere because there was no way they were going to run the table in the MIAA. Now, with two straight losses they have a real problem on their hands. What is going on in Western Kansas?

As far as Friends? They travel to McPherson Feb. 13 for what could very well decide the regular-season title for the KCAC.

Me? I’m just thinking about tomorrow night, Baby. OH, and I’ll be following a JuCo coach around Friday night for our special, behind-the-scenes issue coming out Saturday. That, my friends, will be something else. So ch-ch-check it out.

Take it easy.


Tigers dismantle Newman



How big is the gap between the Newman men’s team and the top tier of the MIAA? Quite large, as we found out Monday night.

Fort Hays State dismantled the Jets, 77-48, at Hays, and left little doubt about its supremacy amongst Division II teams in the state. What about Washburn and ESU, you might ask? Not this year. The Tigers are just too good. Big guards. Big forwards. A big, big man in former Maryland recruit Ken Bowman (6-foot-9, 240).

And leading the way … a couple of kids from western Kansas in Scott City products Corbin Kuntzsch and Tim Peintner. The two won a 4A title for SC in 2006 and Peintner scored 19 points against the Jets on Monday. I don’t think Fort Hays can unseat Southwest Baptist for the No. 1 spot (Matt Rogers is just too good) but I do think they can take that No. 2 spot and definitely make a run to the NCAA DII Tournament.


I’ll be on vacation…

… but I’ll still be blogging. And definitely still putting out stories — I’ve got the MIAA preview coming out Wednesday and the Jayhawk preview out on Thursday. So hit The Eagle at your newstand or online or pigeon carrier or however you get your news. Just make sure to get it.

And no I’m not working on vacay — I wrote the stories before I left.

I’ll be back to work on Sept. 3, but as big news comes in, of course I’ll throw it up here. BTW, I’m headed to the Pacific Northwest. Just because I know you cared. And I’m not flying Oceanic.

Take it easy. TA.

Vincent Banks is a Broncbuster



So it’s 2003 and there’s this kid, Vincent Banks, and he’s really good at basketball. Like he’s-one-of-the-best-high-school-players-in-the-country good. He’s from Atlanta, so there’s no shortage of exposure. He decides to go to Miami, but doesn’t qualify academically. So he goes to prep school for a year then heads to Cincinnati to play for Bob Huggins. He ends up a partial qualifier for the Bearcats and has to sit out a year and then, finally, when he’s going to be the focus of Cincy’s offense … he decides to leave school for personal reasons, leaving Huggy Bear and Cincy and the whole lot of them feeling foolish for going to bat for him. And then he gets on a plane from Sydney to LA and nobody sees him for almost six months.

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Crowder to Southern Illinois



Former Wichita Southeast and Cowley standout Jack Crowder is headed to Southern Illinois — I talked to the 6-foot-4 forward tonight and caught him as he was sending his letter of intent back to Carbondale. Also got a chance to catch up with former Cowley and current Hutch CC coach Steve Eck — check out tomorrow’s Eagle for my story on it. What’s that going to be like for JC when he comes back to play in Wichita next year? Goosebumps, people. Goosebumps. Like I said, read Friday’s Eagle for the entire story.


I’m out. -TA

Forward to the 1:10 clip below to see Crowder’s dunk against Bishop Carroll his senior year at Southeast.

More on Friends softball



My state/juco notes for today focused on the Friends softball team, something I was leading up to for a couple weeks but hadn’t pulled the trigger on the story because I was waiting for them to make a move in the standings, which they did. If you don’t know the backstory, here it is in a nutshell: Two-time defending KCAC champs have 31-game league winning streak broken, fall into second place then regroup to peel off six straight wins including a sweep of the first place team and take back the league lead.

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