Bobcats mash their way to 2nd win
Modern baseball wisdom, according to ESPN, is that chicks dig the long ball. If that's the case they were certainly digging the Bobcats on Monday. Basehor-Linwood blasted three homers on the way to an 11-1 victory over Perry-Lecompton. The game was won in just five innings and snapped a five-game losing streak for BLHS.
The homers were hit by Matt Fanning, Augie Pierce and Robert Lewis, and all three sailed past the left field fence about 325 feet from home plate. It was the second multi-homer game for the Bobcats, but the first that ended in a win. They hit four at Santa Fe Trail at another small field with a stiff wind blowing out.
"We need to keep it in perspective because the two fields that we've hit a lot of home runs in, and the conditions we hit them in, really dictated it," BLHS coach David Svoboda said. "The most pleasant surprise about it is that it's been a variety of people hitting them."
Indeed, although Svoboda expected to see some power from players like Alex Smith this year, getting homers from Fanning would have to be considered a bonus. The junior has been better known for his slick work with the glove this year at second base, which was also on display Monday.
With the Bobcats up 1-0 in the second inning, Perry was threatening to snag the lead, with runners at second and third and only one out.
The next batter hit a sharp grounder that seemed destined for right field, but Fanning ranged far to his left and made a sliding stop. A run scored, but he got the out at first and saved at least one run. The Bobcats got out of the inning with a 1-1 score thanks in large part to Fanning's play, just one in a number of defensive gems he's had this season.
"It's got to be the glove," Fanning said. "I've had it for awhile and it's always done me good."
Fanning got the chance to do some good with his bat in the Bobcats' half of the second inning.
Cody McCoy was hit by a pitch and Brett Miles reached on an error to start the rally, but it looked as if it might short-circuit after that. Perry-Lecompton pitcher Brian Beatty struck out the next two hitters and just needed to get Jordan Coffman to escape from the inning unscathed.
But Coffman worked his way on with a walk and the floodgates opened. Zach Davis reached on an error that scored a BLHS run. An errant pickoff attempt advanced the runners and scored another run. Then Pierce walked to load the bases for Smith, the Bobcats' top RBI man, and Beatty was really in trouble. Smith smashed a double to deep center that cleared the bases and gave BLHS a 6-1 lead. Fanning followed Smith with a two-run blast just left of the scoreboard for his first varsity homer.
"It was a fastball," he said. "Pretty much just see it and hit it."
When the dust had cleared after the second inning, BLHS had scored seven runs, all with two outs, and staked McCoy to an 8-1 lead on the mound.
It was much more than the junior would need.
He got errorless fielding behind him and got a few key strikeouts, including one on a nasty curveball that ended the fourth inning and stranded runner at second and third.
"To Cody's credit they really only put the ball in play hard three times," Svoboda said.
The Bobcats added two runs in the fourth on Pierce's home run, and when Lewis led off the fifth with another blast the run-spread was 10 and the game was over. Although Smith didn't hit one out of the park he did lead the way with four RBI.
In the second game against the Kaws, Svoboda mixed things up in the field and the batting order and the result was stunningly different. The Bobcats committed a number of errors and never really got the bats going. They lost 13-2 in five innings.
Basehor-Linwood will try to get back on the winning track Thursday as they travel to Mill Valley. They'll play a doubleheader against the Jaguars with the first pitch set for 4 p.m.