Archive for Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bobcats pound Perry-Lecompton

April 18, 2007

It looked to be the beginning of a long season.

After the Basehor-Linwood baseball team limped out of the gate to an 0-3 start, it was fair to wonder if the young team could lose confidence in itself after the early setbacks.

The Bobcats quelled all concerns Monday night in Perry, blasting Perry-Lecompton 16-1 and 16-6. Both games were shortened in accordance with the 10-run rule.

The doubleheader sweep was BLHS's first under coach Dave Svoboda since 2004 when he was an interim manager. It has been longer since one can recall a run-rule sweep.

"It was great to see our offense finally come alive," Svoboda said. "What made it all the better was the fact that we got production from throughout the lineup."

The wins improved the team to 2-3 on the season heading into Thursday's doubleheader against Mill Valley.

Could this be the turning point of the season?

"Absolutely, but only if we keep it in context," Svoboda said. "It was just two wins. We have 15 regular-season games left, and now the goal is to string a few good games together -- win or lose -- and see where that leaves us."

Freshman Tyler Henley was the winning pitcher in the first game. He struck out five and walked three in his high school debut. He allowed only two hits in four innings.

The Bobcats blew the game open with an eight-run third inning. Thirteen BLHS batters took their turn at the plate teeing off on the PLHS pitching. Tyler Miles had the rare honor of being plunked by the pitcher in each of his third inning at-bats.

Freshman Ryan Lawless had three hits. Augie Pierce, Cody McCoy, Justin Gripka and Henley each added two hits. Pierce, McCoy and Henley each had two RBIs.

Gripka returned to the hill in the second game. The sophomore was the winning pitcher, striking out six and walking one in his first outing of the year.

"Tyler and Justin each struggled at times with command, but each battled through the rough spots and gave us what we needed," Svoboda said. "It was good to see a couple of our young guns get it done."

Freshman Brandon Leppke had three hits. McCoy, Henley and Lawless had two hits apiece. Leppke and Lawless also had two RBIs, as did junior Luke Kreider.

The Bobcats trailed 4-0 before the offense rekindled the magic of the first game. They were again able to capitalize on a huge inning. BLHS sent 14 batters to the plate during a 10-run fourth. McCoy hit a double in each of his fourth-inning at-bats.

"We were pumped, particularly after Game 1," Svoboda said. "We weren't as excited after the second game, likely because we fell behind and didn't play nearly as well as we had in the opener."

With the team's confidence at a high point, Svoboda is keeping perspective while preparing for Mill Valley.

"I know that I'm more excited today than I was before we went to the ballpark yesterday," Svoboda said. "That's human nature."

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