Bobcats open Curtis Press era with lopsided win over De Soto
For first-year coach Curtis Press, Basehor-Linwood's 10-2 baseball triumph over De Soto in the season opener on Thursday, March 28, was a strike right down the middle.
"It was the perfect game for us in our first game out of the blocks," Press said. "I was really pleased with just about every aspect of the game and it was a good way to start the season."
The Bobcats got off to a quick start in the opener. Senior center fielder Joey Barlow delivered a crushing blow early in the second inning when he knocked a two-out pitch over the left-centerfield fence for a two-run homer that gave the Bobcats a 3-0 lead.
The home run came three batters after Brandon Beebe scored on a wild pitch, and it set the tone for a game the Bobcats dominated from start to finish.
Barlow, the lone senior on the squad, has never been known for his power at the plate. Considering Press had him hitting in the ninth position in the batting order as "a second leadoff hitter," the round tripper came as a bit of a surprise.
"What shocked me the most at the plate today was getting a two-run homer from our No. 9 hole," Press said. "Barlow's home run was great, but I thought his next at bat was even better. He popped it up to shallow right field but ran hard right out of the box. The ball fell and he had a double because of his hustle."
Barlow finished the day 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and a walk.
The Bobcats scattered 12 hits through six innings at the plate, scoring three in the second inning, two in the third, three in the fifth and two more in the sixth to preserve the win.
"I was pleased with our sticks," Press said. "Especially since we didn't have a full lineup on the field. We were disciplined at the plate and we worked the count well."
On the other side of the count, BLHS junior Jeremy Sheehan and the Bobcats defense held De Soto in check from start to finish. Sheehan didn't surrender his first hit until the top of the third inning and in the fourth he struck out all three batters he faced. He finished with 12 strikeouts in six innings of work and moved to 1-0 on the season.
"He (Sheehan) pitched well," Press said. "I didn't want him to go seven innings because he was around 89 or 90 pitches, but when he was out there he really pitched well."
Derek Bryan slammed the door in the seventh inning. After giving up one unearned run he retired three of the next four batters to end the game.
Bryan also chipped in with three hits to lead all BLHS hitters. Brandon Dye and Brandon Beebe each had two hits a piece and Casey Jones, Jeremy Hampton, Ross McCoy, Darren Marx and Josh Ishmael all delivered one hit in the win.
For more on Press' first win with Basehor-Linwood, see Page 4B.