One bad inning spells doom for Bobcats
But for one inning, Thursday's season opener for the Basehor-Linwood baseball team would have been a great game. With that one inning it became a rout.
De Soto scored 11 runs in a fourth inning that saw the Bobcats make six errors, and went on to crush Basehor 13-3 in five innings.
Brett Miles, a junior, got his first ever varsity start for the Bobcats on Thursday.
Miles cruised through the first three innings, allowing just one earned run. He and the Bobcats trailed just 2-1 when the Wildcats came up in their half of the fourth, and the wheels came off for Basehor.
Miles allowed seven runs in the inning, only one of them earned. He left with the bases loaded after getting one out. Miles allowed just three hits, but was charged with nine runs.
"It was decent for my first game," Miles said. "I just need to keep the ball down in the zone."
Basehor coach Dave Svoboda agreed.
"For his first start I thought Miles did pretty well until he got in trouble, which wasn't all of his making," Svoboda said.
Billy Hashman relieved Miles in the fourth, and the lefty didn't fare much better that inning. He struck out one batter, but that was the only out he would get. He allowed two hits and four runs, only one of them earned.
Josh Ishmael came in and finished out the horrid inning for the Bobcats, getting the final out.
"I just wanted to try and get him out without having to throw a lot of pitches," Ishmael said.
The Bobcats had a shot to grab control of the game early, when Ishmael delivered a single with Tyler Dowdall on base in the first inning. The De Soto outfielder bobbled the ball and Dowdall was waved home, but was called out for missing third base.
That baserunning mistake got things off to a slow start for Basehor, but it was the fielding miscues that really hurt in the end. Only three of DeSoto's 13 runs were earned. Still, Svoboda said the corner outfielders, Peter Brown and Seth Lashbrook, had played strong games and provided a silver lining on an otherwise lackluster defensive performance.
With Miles and Dowdall also slated to be regulars, the Basehor outfield is crowded with talent.
"There aren't too many teams that I've been with that have the quality outfield depth that we have," Svoboda said. "We really have four guys who could start."
Another strong defensive performance came from catcher Kyle Speichinger, who threw out a baserunner trying to steal and "was very strong fundamentally," Svoboda said.
Svoboda said he planned to have Speichinger split time with Alex Smith at catcher early in the year to save his legs, but that by the end of the year Speichinger might be catching both games of doubleheaders. He said the junior had also looked good at the plate, driving the ball to the opposite field.
The Bobcats got solid hitting contributions from other players as well. Their 1-2-3 hitters, Lucas Williamson, Dowdall and Ishmael combined to go 3-7. Dowdall had the best performance, going 1-1 and getting on base or sacrificing a run across in every at bat. He was hit by a pitch, singled home a run and hit a sacrifice fly that scored another.
Adam Smith had the Bobcats' only other RBI, hitting in his brother, Alex, with a single. Alex and Mike Armstrong were the only other Bobcats to get hits.
Ishmael was very strong on the mound for the Bobcats down the stretch. He finished out the game, going 1 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. Three of his four outs came on strikeouts.
"I did alright," Ishmael said. "I had a walk that I shouldn't have had, but besides that I thought I did pretty good."
Svoboda thought so too and said he had penciled in Ishmael to start one of the games in tonight's doubleheader at Tonganoxie. Hashman is slated to start the other game. The games start at 4 p.m.