5 bobcats honored for breakout season
Few pitched better than Tyler Henley in the Kaw Valley League this season.
Henley had a 5-1 record with a 0.97 earned run average for the Basehor-Linwood baseball team. He struck out 67 batters and walked just 12 during the season.
Opposing teams scored just five runs against him this season.
As a result of these numbers and what they saw when he pitched against their respective teams, league coaches selected Henley to the All-Kaw Valley League first team.
“Tyler was simply dominating at times, and I still think he’s got his best high school season left in him,” BLHS coach Dave Svoboda said. “To be a first-teamer on the mound in a pitching-rich league is a credit to him. The sky is the limit for Tyler.”
Henley was one of five Bobcats selected from a team that finished 12-10 and posted a 5-4 mark in the Kaw Valley League.
The team’s infielders drew the rest of the recognition, as all four earned honors from league coaches.
Brandon Leppke was a second-team All-KVL selection as a utility player. He split time at second base, shortstop and third base.
“Where Brandon impressed most was at the plate,” Svoboda said. “After a really slow start, he kicked it into gear and was our most consistent threat to reach base over the last 12 games.”
Leppke hit .411 this season with 10 runs batted in. He also walked 14 times.
Austin Stubbs was a second-team selection as an infielder. He compiled a .476 batting average — which led the team — and had 19 runs batted in. He hit one home run this season and also walked 12 times.
He was one of the team’s most improved players this season.
“Austin had over 30 plate appearances in summer ball last year, and struck out in nearly all of them,” Svoboda said. “But we knew that there was a great player in there. And then, as just a sophomore, he comes out and leads our team in hitting, and on top of it shows some extra-base pop. It is just a real credit to hard work on his part.”
Nathan Quigley and Ryan Lawless were honorable mention selections as infielders. Quigley hit .422 with nine runs batted in and six doubles. He drew nine walks last season and scored 21 runs.
“Another sophomore who just got rave after rave from our coaches early, and got on the field and performed very, very well,” Svoboda said. “Once Nathan realizes that mistakes and bad at-bats are part of the game, he’ll be even better because he won’t limit himself — and he’s pretty good already.”
Lawless finished the season with a .385 batting average. He led the team with 22 runs batted in, four home runs and three triples. For the season, he had 10 extra-base hits.
“Ryan had a productive year at the plate, and his power numbers really jumped,” Svoboda said. “He’s probably the best all-around athlete we have, and if his focus improves, he could have a monster senior year.”
Overall, Svoboda said he was pleased with the selections.
“It’s very encouraging to have had all four of our infielders be judged as among the best in the league,” Svoboda said. “And to have one of the two best pitchers in a pitcher-heavy league is very gratifying.”