Bobcats’ season of progress ends with loss to defending state champions
Throughout the season, Basehor-Linwood baseball coach Dave Svoboda has spoken about needing to take his program to the next level.
Cosmetically, the team had a new home. No more road trips for home games. Bigger crowds were forecast.
Big wins followed in the regular season, but the program also wanted to reach for that next realm of success with a postseason victory. The Bobcats had not won in the postseason since 2003.
The Bobcats achieved this success last week with a win over Atchison in the first round of the Class 4A regional tournament on Monday, May 18.
The win was another sign of progress.
In this case, the next step allowed the Bobcats to play in the semifinal round with Class 4As best program.
Bishop Ward, the six-time Class 4A defending state champion, defeated Basehor to advance to the finals, 12-6.
The Cyclones went on to win the regional title and advance to state.
With the win, Bishop Ward avenged a 6-0 loss to BLHS early in the season. The Cyclones had just one hit in that game.
In the regional game, though, Bishop Ward wasted little time getting its offense rolling.
It sent seven players to the plate and scored three runs in the first inning to take an early lead off BLHS starter Justin Gripka.
The Cyclones scored one run on a BLHS error and another when a player was hit by a pitch. The other run scored on a sacrifice fly.
Basehor rallied with a run in the second inning. Brandon Leppke singled to start the inning. He stole second base and later scored on a Jeff Johnson double.
The Bobcats tied the game in the third inning. Ryan Lawless doubled with one out. He scored on a double by Austin Stubbs. Stubbs scored later in the inning as the team scored two runs on three hits.
With the score tied 3-3, Bishop Ward scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning. The Cyclones sent 12 batters to the plate and scored the runs on four hits.
Errors hurt the Bobcats in the third inning as the team committed three miscues.
Basehor scored one run in the fourth inning. Johnson led off with a double and later scored. Neither team scored again until the sixth inning.
Basehor scored two runs as Quigley and Lawless reached base and scored on a Stubbs double with one out. Stubbs reached third base, but could not score another run. BLHS was within 8-6.
The Cyclones erupted with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the game away.
BLHS went down in order in the seventh inning.
The Bobcats finished with 11 hits in the game. Lawless pounded out three of them. Stubbs recorded two hits and three RBI. Leppke had three hits and an RBI. season with a 12-8 record.