Bobcats wrap up KVL title with 3-2 win over Mill Valley
Clinching a Kaw Valley League championship was a goal for the Basehor-Linwood baseball team from the beginning of the season, but it was not easy.
The Bobcats had to come from behind against Mill Valley, Tuesday, May 6, to win the title.
Basehor-Linwood hosted Mill Valley, making up a game called because of rain earlier in the season, and won, 3-2, thanks to a late inning rally.
Senior Bobcat outfielder Derrick Bryan liked his team's resolve.
"It feels good winning a league championship," Bryan said. "We've been playing good as a team all year, and it paid off. This game shows that if we are down, we can still come back."
Bryan, who scored the first run of the game, complemented senior pitcher Jeremy Sheehan's performance.
"The key for this game was Sheehan," Bryan said. "He pitched so well, and he's done that all year. He's something like 6-0 right now. He's the reason we won the league championship."
Basehor-Linwood baseball coach Curtis Press may have been a little worried before his team played De Soto, but the Bobcats put those worries to rest early blowing their opponents away, 21-0.
The Bobcats hosted De Soto Monday, May 5, and Press had reason to worry with two starters on the bench and a history of close games with De Soto. The team's attitude did not help matters, Press said.
"We were lackadaisical coming out," Press said. "The guys didn't have the right attitude. They didn't feel pumped up like they should, and with our history of having tight games, I thought we were primed for an upset."
On this day, it did not matter how ready the Bobcats were because they came out quickly, scoring runs, and kept pouring it on.
Every Bobcat in the batting order already had a hit after two innings.
Basehor-Linwood scored seven runs in the first inning, six runs in the second inning and four runs in both the third and fourth innings.
The Bobcats are used to scoring runs, but senior Ross McCoy said they went about things differently against De Soto.
"We score a lot of runs, but normally, we just hit home runs," McCoy said. "Today we had a lot of hits and hard base running."
Senior Chris Maleta had the only home run when he hit an opposite field shot in the second inning, scoring two runs.
McCoy had mixed emotions about the dominating performance.
"Whenever you start winning it always feels good, but when it starts to get ugly, there's not much you can say," McCoy said. "I almost started to feel sorry for them.
"It's both a good and a bad thing," he said. "Every team needs confidence going into the next game, but playing competition that's not good enough will not get you ready come state time."
Basehor-Linwood mixed up the lineup for the game because two players did not play. Bryan missed practice for a wedding while senior Darren Marx sat out because of an ejection in the team's last game.
Since the team only had ten players, Press brought sophomore Kyle Speichinger up from junior varsity, and put him in the starting lineup. He was the designated hitter.
Speichinger saw some time on varsity last year, but this was the first time in 2003 he played on the varsity squad.
"I've been hitting pretty good, so coach put me in," Speichinger said. "I was really nervous during my first at bat, but after that, it was just a normal baseball game."
He went 1-4 on the night with a walk, three runs and an RBI.
"It was great," Speichinger said. "I haven't played in a lot of blowouts in JV, so it got me pumped up."
While the offense was clicking on all cylinders, senior Brandon Dye was pitching a five-inning complete game shutout. In the five innings, he struck out nine batters and allowed just two hits.
Press said he was a little worried about Dye keeping his focus because of the blowout, but he pitched five good innings.
Dye was also helping the cause offensively. He was 4-4 at the plate with a walk, four runs and five RBIs.