Bobcat baseball: A look back at last season
With just one senior and a stable full of talented underclassmen, last year's Basehor-Linwood High School baseball team entered the season under new leadership.
Curtis Press took the mound for the Bobcats as the new skipper and in his first season Press was impressive as he guided the Bobcats to the top seed in their regional and a 13-4 record.
According to some, the 13-5 record was a disappointment, as the talent was there to win every game.
However, time and again Press stressed that going undefeated in high school baseball is an extremely difficult feat to accomplish.
The Bobcats won eight of their first nine games and were cruising through the season, when perhaps the biggest shock of the spring occurred.
The Bobcats lost to De Soto 6-3 in their 10th game of the season.
In game one, the Bobcats pounded De Soto 10-2.
After the shocking loss to the Wildcats, BLHS reeled off four straight wins, including a pair of convincing victories over league contender Piper.
However, a late-season slump had the Bobcats questioning their abilities.
The Bobcats were swept by Mill Valley in their second-to-last double header of the season, and then pounded by Sumner in the first game of the final double-dip before run-ruling the Sabres in the nightcap.
Despite dropping three of their last four games, the Bobcats managed to snag the No. 1 seed at the 4A regional tournament at Bishop Ward.
In the first round, the Bobcats took on bottom feeder Tonganoxie, and destroyed them, 15-0, to move to the second round.
In the second round, BLHS faced Piper in a much anticipated match up of two of the top pitchers in the Kaw Valley League.
Basehor-Linwood's Jeremy Sheehan was pitted against Piper's Brian Woods, but on that day, it was all Woods.
Woods shut down the Bobcats all afternoon, allowing just three BLHS base runners in the 5-0 shutout.
The loss ended the Bobcats' season and left a bitter taste in the players' mouths.
Shortly after the game, the players were already talking about next year.
"It takes a year to see what kind of personnel you have," Press said shortly after the loss. "I learned what kind of group I have here and after emphasizing pitching and defense a little bit more next year, we'll be ready for another run."
Well, next year is now and the Bobcats are heavy favorites to contend for a league title and a berth at state.
The Bobcats first game of the 2003 season will be April 3.