KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Our FOX4 HyVee Team of the Week has history on its side.
Oak Park High School’s baseball team recently recorded a landmark victory, and hopes are high for the upcoming district playoffs, which will open in mid-May. The Northmen (14-5) are re-writing the record books.
Back on April 8, Oak Park recorded a slugfest win over rival North Kansas City 17-13. That was OPHS’s 800th victory in school history. The school’s athletic department believes that number is tops for high school baseball in the Kansas City metro.
This season has been fruitful, too. Nine of Oak Park’s 14 victories thus far have yielded 10 runs or more. 10 of the club’s 19 players are seniors, who likely learned a lot last year, when they won only seven times. They’ve held their competitors to two runs or fewer on six occasions, three of which were shutouts.
“It’s been a good perfect storm for us this year,” Will Mayle, seventh-year Northmen coach, said. “This year, we’ve come back with 17 guys who have substantial varsity experience. Being able to, with an injury, plug and play another player, where there’s very little dropoff for us.”
Oak Park has won four of its last five games, including number 801, which came Friday against Kearney.
“We’re definitely getting there. We’re trying to take it a game at a time and make sure we focus on each game and each aspect of each game while we’re on this path,” Carson Droegemueller, OP’s first baseman, said.
“This year, we came up and showed who we are and it feels really good,” Anthony Valadez, Northmen second baseman, said. “I think we all have that feeling, but we’re taking everything to a first step. We want to keep winning these games, and then, go from there.”
Modern day records aren’t out of reach either. Oak Park is quickly gaining on 100 stolen bases for the season with 84 sacks taken through only 18 games. That’s a lot in high school baseball. The record this school really wants, though, is the seventh state championship in Northmen history. They haven’t won it all here since 1995.
Oak Park travels to Lee’s Summit Monday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.
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