Play ball: Bobcats outlast De Soto in opener
Basehor-Linwood came into the season with big bat potential.
Against De Soto in the season opener Thursday, April 3, those bats started a little slower than the team expected.
The slow offensive night did not matter as the Bobcats came away with a 5-2 victory thanks in large part to senior Jeremy Sheehan who pitched a complete game with 11 strikeouts.
Despite his dominating performance on the mound, Sheehan was not entirely satisfied with his or the team's first game.
"I have a lot of work to do," Sheehan said of his pitching. "My control was a little off. I am happy with it as my first outing, but I still have to work some things out with my curveball.
"My fastball was pretty good," he said. "They weren't able to catch up to it. Then my curveball put them off balance a little bit."
Basehor-Linwood coach Curtis Press had mixed emotions about the game.
"We executed pretty well," Press said. "We had four instances of situational hitting where we moved the runner up."
On the other hand, Press did not feel like De Soto should have been in the game with Basehor-Linwood.
"We should have just blown these guys out," Press said. "We were clinging to a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning when the game should have been over 45 minutes earlier.
"You let a team stay with you until the last inning, the umps will give it to the home team."
On the flip side, Press said he could see a lot of positives from this game. The close game will do more good than a blowout, he said.
While the game was close the entire game, the Bobcat bats awoke in the top half of the seventh.
Senior Derrick Bryan smashed a triple down the leftfield line with senior Jeremy Hampton on base.
Hampton's go-ahead run was the last one the Bobcats would need, but they knocked in two more to push their lead to 5-2.
"We'll take it," Press said. "It's a win."
Press said several factors led to the team's performance.
Weather and De Soto's pitcher played a factor.
"It was a tough night to play," Press said. "The wind came straight in from behind the pitcher. Then they had a lefty pitcher that we had trouble with. He did an effective job. We couldn't time him well, so we got a lot of flies that got caught in the wind."
The game was the season opener, so the team would have some rust, Press said.
"What's been written, the expectations on them, they may be a little over-hyped," Press said. "For the first game of the season, we'll take a 5-2 victory.
"They actually pulled for each other, and that's the key. Sometimes when you get a group of talented players, they start to think they're bigger than the team."
Senior catcher Darren Marx had a slow night offensively and defensively going 0-3 throwing out runners and 0-3 at the plate, but he said he was glad his teammates could pick him up.
"I didn't have a good night," Marx said. "I had a huge dip in my swing. I was going for the home run, and there was a strong wind coming in. That wasn't smart.
"Overall, though, the team played well, but nowhere near what our capability is."