Bobcats outclass Royals
asehor-Linwood baseball team pulls off something Kansas City’s pro team hasn’t — 3 straight wins at Kauffman Stadium
The Bobcats were supposed to feel the pressure of playing a game at Kauffman Stadium. They were supposed to feel the pressure of keeping an undefeated record in the Frank White classic.
They were supposed to, but they didn't.
The Bobcats could easily have been wearing three piece suits, just like the big leaguers that play there, because it was business as usual in a 6-1 victory over Tonganoxie in front of the largest crowd they'll see all season.
"It will probably be the most amazing thing I do in my entire life. This is where it happens, where guys get paid to play," sophomore first baseman Cody McCoy said with a grin from ear to ear. "The pressure was definitely there, but after the third or fourth pitch of the game nobody was thinking about that. We just wanted to win."
The Bobcats were playing for pride and playing to do something that the Royals seem to be unable to do. Win three games in a row at Kaufman. A fact that might have had Royals skipper Tony Pena lurking in the wings taking notes.
BLHS coach David Svoboda would be happy to help. This was the third time he's gotten to be a part of the sweet taste of victory at "The K," but the first as a head coach.
Growing up as a child Svoboda idolized the Royals, is now a season ticket holder and says of all the memorable moments he's had at that stadium this was the most special.
"When I ran out to third in the first inning I have to admit there was a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye," Svoboda said. "It's about the kids though and I'm really proud of them and happy for the community."
The win came as the result of a flawless performance in the field and an absolute gem on the mound from junior Brett Miles, who threw a four-hitter in six innings of work ensuring the win and preserving an undefeated record on the pro turf.
"Brett threw the best I've ever seen him throw as a varsity pitcher," Svoboda said.
"Everything is so big, but you've got to treat it like another game and just focus on your catcher," Miles said modestly. "The guys were perfect behind me, we held them to one run. It was a good win."
It was a good win, but the game played at Kauffman right before it was a hard act to follow.
The Royals, struggling to win a ball game found themselves in a 5-5 dog-fight with the Cleveland Indians. With Bobcats and Chieftains eager to trot onto the perfect grass, it was the bottom of the ninth two outs and full count on catcher Alberto Castillo. The teams were waiting in the corridors behind the dugouts when Castillo belted a walk-off solo shot over the left field wall. After the game some of the Bobcats got to meet a few of the pro's as they walked by on their way to the showers.
Although none of the pro players stayed to watch, in attendance for the BLHS game, was Royals representative Jeff Miller, who presented both teams with memorabilia to mark the event.
"It's really nice to see the kids eyes light up," Miller said. "They're not just on their home field and it just adds to their season."
The game had lasted only an hour and a half and as the Bobcats headed back to the bus the didn't do anything crazy like try and grab some souvenirs or sign their name on the wall. They took one last look around soaked it all in and walked off the field.
For more on the actual game, see related story on Page 3B.