Bobcats batter Tongie
After watching his squad score just one run in its first two games this year, Basehor-Linwood coach David Svoboda was hoping for better things from his offense. He didn't have to wait very long. On Thursday the Bobcats hitters exploded and the team cruised to an 11-3 victory.
Cody McCoy pitched five innings and got the win to move the Bobcats to 1-2. Brett Miles picked up a save in dominating fashion.
"It was good to have an opportunity to play with all the guns that we normally would have, Brett Miles especially," Svoboda said. "It was fun to come out and really, really be able to use all our weapons."
As impressive a weapon as Miles' arm was Thursday, it was upstaged by the Bobcats' bats. They banged out eight hits and took advantage of five errors by the young Tonganoxie defense.
The top of the Bobcats' order, Miles, Zach Davis, Zach Lowe and Alex Smith, went 7 for 16 and knocked in five runs.
The Bobcats jumped out early behind those four batters, scoring four runs in the top of the first, the big hits being back-to-back doubles by Lowe and Smith.
McCoy followed with a one-two-three inning on three groundouts, a remarkable turnaround after allowing four runs in his first inning against Bishop Ward.
"My confidence was a little shot after Ward, but we came out in the first inning, the defense backed me up and we went from there," McCoy said.
The junior wasn't dominant, he finished his five innings with no strikeouts. But he was always around the strike zone, made his pitches and got solid defense behind him, especially by second baseman Matt Fanning.
The victory was pretty much wrapped up for BLHS in the top of the sixth inning, when the Bobcats answered two runs by Tonganoxie with six of their own.
Miles drove in two with a single to center and later scored. It was one of three hits on the day for the Bobcats' lead off man. With Miles already warming up when the inning started, he would have come in if the lead had only been 5-3, but Svoboda was much happier to send him out with an 11-3 lead.
"That was big for two reasons," Svoboda said. "First of all, Miles hadn't pitched all year and went out with an eight-run lead instead of two, which gave him a margin for error so that he didn't have to be perfect right away. Secondly, it allowed us to do things with some other players who hadn't played certain roles."
Although Miles had to shake off some early rust, it turned out that he certainly didn't need all of the eight-run cushion. He walked the first batter on four pitches and allowed a single to the next, but was brilliant after that. The senior retired six of the last seven batters he faced, five of them on strikeouts.
Once he had warmed up he showed off a devastating combination of high heat and off-speed pitches that began up and then danced to the bottom of the zone.
It was an encouraging save by the pitcher that Svoboda identified as his ace before the season started.