California News Admin
Wed, February 7, 2024 at 09:03 AM
As the 2024 season approaches for Lansing High School's baseball team, there is a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air. With six of eight position players and the entire pitching staff returning, along with some promising new additions, the team is looking to make a strong run for the state tournament. The top returning players from last season are Tonio Mendez, James Umbarger, Caden Howell, Dalton Jorgensen, Jett Hutton, and Reid Oakley. Each of these players brings a unique skill set and talent to the team, making them key contributors to the team's success. Tonio Mendez, a senior shortstop and right-handed pitcher, has been a standout player for the team for the past three seasons. With multiple All League and All UKC honors under his belt, Mendez is a force to be reckoned with on both defense and offense. He finished last season with a .373 batting average, 27 runs, and 10 stolen bases, while also recording 27 strikeouts and a 2.38 ERA on the mound. His commitment to Barton County Community College speaks to his talent and potential for the future. James Umbarger, also a senior, is a right-handed pitcher and first baseman for the team. He was named to the Second Team All UKC and participated in the Team Kansas Select summer program in 2023. With a 4-3 record and a 2.90 ERA, Umbarger was a reliable and consistent presence on the mound last season. He has committed to play at St. Bonaventure, showcasing his strong pitching abilities. Another senior, Caden Howell, is a centerfielder and right-handed pitcher for Lansing High School. He received Honorable Mention All UKC and was also selected for the Team Kansas Select summer program last year. Howell recorded an impressive 48 strikeouts in just 32.1 innings pitched, along with three saves and a 3.03 ERA. His commitment to the University of Akron speaks to his potential for future success. Junior Dalton Jorgensen, a third baseman, catcher, and right-handed pitcher, is another key player returning to the team this season. Last year, he was named to the Second Team All UKC and finished with a .324 batting average and 17 RBIs. His versatile skills on both offense and defense make him a valuable asset to the team. Jorgensen has committed to Barton County Community College, allowing him to continue playing