Archive for Thursday, May 5, 2005

Breaks not going Bobcats’ way

Basehor-Linwood baseball in the middle of a four-game slide

May 5, 2005

Coaching baseball sometimes can be like putting a puzzle together.

In the case of BLHS baseball coach David Svoboda, the pieces are fitting together fine, however all of them don't appear to be there.

The Bobcats have dropped four straight, including last Saturday's doubleheader against Turner at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, home of the Kansas City T-Bones.

It's not that the Bobcat pitchers are getting lit up, but four games in the course of three days will test the limits of any staff and it appears that the BLHS pitching is running thin

"Pitching was a question from the beginning," Svoboda said. "We also made a conscious decision to hold back some pitching for Bonner."

Senior Josh Ishmael started his first game in nearly a year, and despite losing 5-3, he gave the Bobcats some much needed innings.

Senior Michael Armstrong went 2 for 4 with a double and six of the nine Bobcat starters recorded hits.

"It's encouraging when you're getting production up and down your lineup," Svoboda said.

The second game was a 7-2 loss pitched by sophomore Matt Fanning, who settled down after giving up three runs in the first inning.

Lucas Williamson was 3 for 4 with two runs scored and Armstrong continued to swing the stick well; he added two more doubles to his belt and went 2 for 4 at the plate.

Despite their disappointment from losing two at a minor league ballpark, the Bobcats had to move forward for a Monday double header with Lansing.

With ace Brett Miles on the mound the Bobcats were confident that they could get a big league win in game one. Only the first game of a double header counts in league play.

Miles was nothing short of brilliant, taking his team strong into extra innings before being relieved in the eighth with the game tied a three runs a piece.

"Brett threw eight tremendous innings for us," Svoboda said. "An outstanding pitching performance that was comparable to his performance at Kauffman Stadium."

Ishmael was 2 for 4 with a double, junior Cody McCoy was 2 for 3 and Williamson continued to hit the ball hard going 3 for 5 including driving in the game tying run with two outs in the seventh inning.

Alex Smith came in to relieve Miles and gave up two runs in the 10th. Even though he got the loss Svoboda said Smith continued to grow as a pitcher.

"People need to remember that Alex has probably pitched in around 20 games in his life," Svoboda said. "A lot of kids have that number by age 12."

The second Lansing game was one that the Bobcats would rather not remember. An 18-8 shellacking that had been as close as 7-6 in the fifth became a laugher when Lansing delivered an 11-run sixth inning.

Despite the disappointing four-game stretch Svoboda said there were some bright spots from his team.

Williamson is playing the best stretch of baseball Svoboda's ever seen him play, and the Bobcat pitching staff has continued to improve.

The 11-run Lansing explosion exposed the lack of depth in the Bobcats staff.

This fact has gotten Svoboda up and running with ideas to make pitching a top priority. The Bobcats will begin working on it this summer and follow up with winter work outs extending into next spring.

The Bobcats head to Bonner Springs today looking to end their winless drought. A win against their biggest league rival could give them some momentum heading towards the end of the season.

The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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