Pitchers: Beware of the PowerCats!
Massive doses of the long ball have been supplying the hunger for the Bobcats baseball team this season.
With 17 home runs in 16 games, Basehor-Linwood has cleared last season's mark of 10 and appear hungry for more.
Bobcat seniors Brandon Lasley, Mike Horn and sophomore Chris Maleta have been the trio keeping the team well fed, hitting 14 of the teams' 17 home runs.
"It's nice to have some power there," Basehor-Linwood head coach Kevin Suther said. "We're not the fastest team, so those big guys give our team momentum and fires us up. That's been a surprise this year."
Balls are exiting the fences at a rapid rate, while the "Flex" is the latest craze sweeping the Bobcat dugout well, at least for two heavy hitters.
Maleta and Lasley have been exchanging the muscle pose when approaching home plate, bringing a sense of enjoyment to their teammates.
"It's just a mess-around thing, to get some smiles out of us," says Maleta, who has bashed out seven home runs to lead the team. "Every time we get up and hit a home run, we'd just flex and show the power."
"I can't remember really how it came up, but we always give each other the flex at school, trying to compare whose arms are bigger," Lasley said.
Horn, who has cleared the fence three times this season, leaves the flex up to Maleta and Lasley.
"I'm not part of the flex, because I don't weigh over 250," says the slim senior. "I think it's more of a big thing for Maleta and Lasley. I don't know. I guess you have to be a big guy to do it."
Horn lives and dies out on the field by his motto "Sweat plus sacrifice equals success", which is inscribed underneath the lid of his cap.
"That's just me working, trying to get better as a hitter," Horn says of his slogan.
Whether it's the "Flex" or sacrificing the body, the long ball is just one of the many reasons why the Bobcats are enjoying success this spring.
The squad is hitting at torrid .402 clip for the year, which equals good for the guys in green and bad for the opposition on the mound.
"Everyone is seeing the ball a lot better. I want to see it a lot better, so I'll probably be in the cage a lot this week," Maleta said.
Constant practices has allowed Maleta to provide mass production, which has caught the eye of his teammates and coaches.
"To explode that much, you can't predict that for anybody," Suther said of the sophomore.
Approaching the season, the confidence level surrounding the team was at all-time high and the mood has carried over to the playing field.
Basehor-Linwood is close to achieving goals on the way, with a Kaw Valley League title in grasp, as well as a No. 1 seed for the Class 4A Regional Tournament, which begins Monday.
"We came into this year and everybody was talking about how we were going to be good," Lasley said. "Nobody in Basehor's history has been on a team like this. We want to go to State and that's our ultimate goal."
And Lasley knows exactly what will happen should a game-winning home run occur to win a State championship.
"I think we'll be jumping," he said. "The flex will be too calm for that situation. We're kind of the exciting group, so we can't sit still for very long."
Nor can the ball stay in the yard long, at least not at the rate these Bobcats are feasting on the ball.