7 home runs erase BLHS’s memory of previous day’s loss
One day after the Basehor-Linwood baseball team let a game and possibly a No. 1 seed at the regional tournament slip from its grasp against Fort Scott, the Bobcats returned to the field and pounded Bonner Springs, 23-6.
The Bobcats jumped out to a 9-0 lead thanks to three home runs in the first two innings.
Shortstop Jeremy Hampton led the game off with a shot down the left field line. Three batters later Ross McCoy drilled a two-run shot to the same spot.
In the top of the second inning, No. 9 hitter Casey Jones drilled one over the fence, as well.
In all the Bobcats clubbed seven homers en route to destroying their rival.
Josh Ishmael, Derrick Bryan, Chris Maleta and Kyle Speichinger all added roundtrippers in the next few innings as the Bobcats held off an attempted Bonner Springs rally by exploding for 13 runs in the game's final two innings.
Bryan started on the mound for BLHS and picked up the win, despite leaving in the fourth inning.
The Bobcats played a double header, Monday, May 12 at home, splitting with Fort Scott. Basehor-Linwood controlled the first game, 8-3, but lost the second, 4-3, ending an 11 game winning streak.
"You can't yell at them," said Basehor-Linwood head coach Curtis Press. "They lost by one run. That happens."
That has happened three times for Basehor-Linwood this year. The team's record was 15-3 following the double header, and all three losses had been by one run.
The loss could drop the Bobcats in the regional tournament seeding. Three teams in Basehor-Linwood's bracket are ranked in state. Bishop Ward and Eudora are the other two.
Basehor-Linwood was in the driver's seat but needs a loss by Eudora to maintain the top seed. The top seed would mean the Bobcats would only have to face one of the other two ranked teams.
The Bobcats are not worrying about their seed, though. Press said even the No. 1 seed will have to face a difficult second round game in the No. 4 seed, Mill Valley.
"We just have to play ball and play ball," Press said.
Senior power hitter Chris Maleta does not care whom the Bobcats play, and either way he is going to give his best.
"If we play our A game, we'll sweep through regionals," Maleta said. "If we play our B game, it'll be close as we go through it. I'm just going to get out there and play my ass off."
Senior Jeremy Sheehan took the mound in the first game against Fort Scott. He gave another solid performance pitching a complete game. He gave up seven hits and three runs, two of those earned. He struck out 13 Fort Scott batters.
His season record is 7-0, and he has a 0.98 ERA.
Sheehan kept Fort Scott silent while the Bobcat offense produced enough to earn the victory.
Senior Brandon Beebe led the way with two runs and two RBIs.
The story of game two was pitching. Fort Scott surprised Basehor-Linwood with a second quality pitcher.
"They had a decent pitcher," Maleta said. "He had some speed, and I wasn't expecting that on my first at bat."
Senior Derrick Bryan gave the Bobcats a 2-0 lead in the third inning when his double knocked in sophomore Lucas Williamson and senior Jeremy Hampton.
The Bobcats could only muster one more run the rest of the game when senior Ross McCoy scored.
Meanwhile senior pitcher Brandon Dye gave up a two-run home run in the fourth inning after Dye had shut Fort Scott down for three innings.
In the fifth inning, Fort Scott loaded the bases against Dye with two outs. McCoy came in to pitch and struck out the first batter he pitched to end the Fort Scott threat.
"I didn't want to come out," Dye said. "Coach never lets me pitch out of jams. That was the guy that hit a home run on a breaking ball, and I wanted to face him."
The sixth inning was a struggle, as Fort Scott loaded the bases again, this time with nobody out.
Bryan relieved McCoy and promptly got two outs without giving up a run. The next batter, however, smashed the game-winning single, and scored two runs.
Basehor-Linwood could not make up the difference in their two final at bats and lost, 4-3.