Bobcats finish sixth at Butch Foster Baseball Classic
KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The Basehor-Linwood baseball team played solid baseball in spurts on Saturday, but Tonganoxie put a complete game together in the fifth-place game of the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic.
The Chieftains built an early lead, withstood a Bobcat rally and then pulled away for a 13-6 victory at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
It was a common theme to the weekend as BLHS lost in similar fashion in the first round Thursday to Paola before putting together a complete game against Perry-Lecompton on Friday.
“Throughout the weekend we left too many runners in key situations,” Basehor coach Dave Svoboda said. “When we ended up with one or two (runs), we could’ve had three or four, and against really good pitching and teams that are going to battle you, you need to take advantage of all of your offensive opportunities and you’ve got to play really, really tight defense. There were some times that we didn’t execute defensively, and those two things in combination hurt us.”
Case in point: Basehor took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Brandon Leppke singled and later scored on a walk by Jeff Johnson, but the Bobcats stranded the bases loaded in that inning. Tonganoxie responded with three runs in the top of the second inning — two of them unearned because of a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt.
Basehor pulled within 3-2 in the bottom of the second when Ben Zuk hit a leadoff single and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Henley. Tonganoxie extended its lead to 5-2 in the top of the third, however, when it executed two double-steals.
“Tonganoxie’s very good. They’re going to play a lot of small ball and force you to do some things that are outside of your comfort zone,” Svoboda said. “If you don’t execute either with the pitch or with the defense, they’re going to make you pay, and that’s certainly what happened today.”
THS tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning to build a 7-2 advantage. BLHS countered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Justin Gripka earned a leadoff walk, Nathan Quigley singled to left and Leppke walked to load the bases. Henley walked, scoring Gripka. Quigley scored on a ground ball by Jared Patton. Then Leppke ran home on a passed ball.
The Bobcats were back within 7-5, but just as they started to build some momentum the Chieftains took it back.
THS took advantage of a leadoff walk, a dropped third strike, an intentional walk, another walk and an error to score three runs in the top of the fifth. The Chieftains added another run in the sixth and two more in the seventh.
Dylan Belt came off the bench and hit a one-out double in the bottom of the seventh for BLHS. He later scored on a ground ball by Anthony Pierce. That was all the offense the Bobcats could muster.
“I was very happy with the way we competed at times today, and all the way there until the very end with Belt coming off the bench and hitting a double, I think we’ve got some guys that understand competing,” Svoboda said. “It’s just a matter of being able to do that consistently enough.”
On the note of consistency, Svoboda cautioned that two shaky games during the tournament weren’t reason to panic.
“That’s one of those things that we’ve won seven of our last 10. We can’t lose track of that,” he said.
BLHS 10, PERRY-LECOMPTON 2
The Bobcats shook off their first-round frustrations with a dominant performance against Perry-Lecompton.
Tyler Henley tossed a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts to lead the Bobcats, allowing Perry its only runs in the seventh inning.
BLHS stranded the bases loaded in the first inning, but the Bobcats took care of their opportunities in the second inning as they plated three runs. Derek Shandy earned a leadoff walk and Dylan Belt followed with a base hit. Shandy scored on a single by Nathan Quigley. Brandon Leppke followed with a run-scoring single, as did Jared Patton.
Basehor tacked on four runs in the fourth inning and four more in the seventh to put the lead out of reach.
Leppke paced the BLHS offense with three hits. Quigley, Henley and Belt added two hits apiece as the Bobcats advanced to the consolation finals.
PAOLA 7, BASEHOR-LINWOOD 3
Basehor-Linwood fell behind early, rallied and then fell behind a second time before falling to Paola, 7-3, in the opening round of the tournament on Thursday.