Who needs offense?
Bobcats move to 10-2 after outlasting Lansing in pitchers’ duels
The offensively potent Basehor-Linwood baseball team showed it had more than just heavy hitters as the Bobcats won two pitchers' duels against Lansing this week.
Lansing made the short trip to Basehor-Linwood Monday, Apr. 28 for a doubleheader that Basehor-Linwood swept, 1-0 and 4-3. The Bobcats' overall record now stands at 10-2.
While the two games are the two lowest scoring of the season for the Bobcats, seniors Jeremy Sheehan and Brandon Dye had two impressive performances on the mound, neither allowing an earned run.
"Pitching was the key," Basehor-Linwood coach Curtis Press said. "Good offensive teams have off nights, so you have to have good pitching. Tonight was a night for pitching. The defense wasn't spectacular. We had some errors that could have cost us a game."
Press did like the defensive performance of senior Darren Marx Monday night. Marx, the Bobcats' catcher, threw out two Lansing base runners, including a pickoff at third base.
"Marx threw out some runners tonight," Press said. "I just don't understand why anybody would want to run against him."
Before game one, Sheehan had some pain in his arm, but Press said he had no doubt he would pitch the game.
"I was abusing Sheehan for a couple of weeks there," Press said. "He pitched a lot of innings. But, he just needed to stretch it out again. Part of it was mental. You get it in your head that your arm hurts.
"By the fourth inning, he started to hit his groove," he said.
Despite not reaching his peak until the fourth inning, Lansing had its biggest threat in the fifth.
With one out, Sheehan walked and hit a batter, and an error on a bunt loaded the bases.
The Bobcats dug themselves a hole, but after the defense put the team in a bad situation, it got out of it when the Bobcats rolled a double play to end the inning.
After the scare, Lansing did not have another base runner. Pitching seven innings, Sheehan had nine strikeouts in the game, allowing three his.
To start the game offensively, the Bobcats appeared ready to continue its trend of scoring in bunches.
Senior Jeremy Hampton walked to lead off the game, and then stole second base.
After a fly out, senior Chris Maleta smashed a line drive off the pitcher's kneecap. The pitcher fell over in pain and Maleta reached safely.
With senior Brandon Beebe at bat, the Lansing pitcher threw a wild pitch, and Hampton scored.
The pitcher settled down, and the Bobcats failed to produce any more offense. It was enough offense, however, to win the game.
Senior Ross McCoy had the best offensive game going 2-3 with a double.
In game two, Basehor-Linwood trailed most of the game and used the bat of senior Casey Jones to put the Bobcats ahead late in the game.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Basehor-Linwood was in jeopardy of dropping just its third game. The bottom half of the lineup would not allow that to happen.
With one out, Marx and Tyler Dowdall singled. Lansing's first baseman robbed Dye of a single with a diving stop, but he moved the runners to second and third.
With two outs, Jones, who was batting ninth, poked a single to the outfield scoring both Marx and Dowdall to take a 4-3 lead.
"This is the first time I've had a game-winning hit," Jones said. "It felt great. I hadn't been with it all game, but I came through when it mattered. I just went up there hoping I could do something with the ball, anything, even an error."
After a no-hit shutout a week ago, Dye came through with another solid pitching performance. Excluding the third inning, he cruised through the Lansing lineup not allowing a run in those innings.
"Dye pitched well," Press said. "The defense hurt him. He did not allow an earned run, and even the errors were ground balls."
In the top of the third, Basehor-Linwood led 1-0, but let Lansing score three times.
The crucial play came with one out and a runner on first. Lansing hit a tailor-made double play grounder, but Hampton's throw to second sailed into the outfield.
The next batter hit a single scoring two runs, and another single scored a third runner.
Dye had four strikeouts and allowed four hits.
"Usually the top of the order just rips the ball," Dye said. "We didn't come in focused enough. We came in thinking it was just Lansing, and in the end we were scrapping for runs any way we could get them.
"I'm trying to pitch a perfect season record, and I did not want to lose a game to Lansing," he said. "If I lose a game to a team in a good, hard battle, fine. Sheehan and I say we're the best 1-2 (pitching combination) in the state, at least that's what we think."
In game two, senior Derrick Bryan was 2-3 with a double and a run.