Bishop Ward edges Basehor baseball in regional tourney
Ryan Lawless didn’t want to lose to Bishop Ward in regional competition again.
He didn’t want to lose in CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
The Basehor-Linwood senior baseball player wanted a trip to the Class 4A state tournament in Salina, extending the dream a little longer.
With that mentality, Lawless took the mound on Monday and dueled with Jacob Kalenda of Bishop Ward.
While pitching, he didn’t see much other than the catchers’ mitt and the occasional base runner. In seven innings, Lawless struck out 10 batters and allowed just four hits in a game where every piece of offense was at a premium, and he would say it was one his best pitching performances in recent memory.
“He pitched his heart out, he pitched really well,” BLHS coach Dave Svoboda said. “I was really proud of him. He battled hard and gave us a chance to win.”
Unfortunately, Lawless and the Bobcats came up on the short end of the duel as Bishop Ward won the game, 2-1.
Bishop Ward scored in the first inning when Jon Roblez walked, stole second and advanced to third base on an errant throw. He scored on a Michael Golubski single.
From there, Lawless didn’t allow another run until the fourth inning. Jacob Kolenda doubled and later scored on a hit by Andres Sandoval. Sandoval singled and then was called out trying to stretch the play into a double. Lawless struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Basehor-Linwood scored its only run in the fifth inning. Jeff Johnson walked and scored on a passed ball while Brandon Leppke was up with runners on second and third. Leppke then grounded out to end the inning after delivering two earlier hits in the game. He had both of the Bobcats’ hits for the night.
The Bobcats began to run out of outs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Lawless started the sixth inning with a grounder on a play that took a perfect hop for the first baseman. The next two batters made outs.
Lawless went to the mound in the sixth inning and shut down the Cyclones.
In the top of the seventh inning, Nathan Quigley led off with a walk. With the tying run on first base, Basehor-Linwood’s next three batters struck out to end the game.
Bishop Ward pitcher Jacob Kolenda won this pitcher’s duel by striking out nine batters and allowing just one run.
“Give Kolenda credit, he made key pitches, and we were not able to scratch out enough runs to get the job done,” Svoboda said.
Still, Svoboda praised the players’ efforts, especially the seven seniors who he has grown to admire as people and developed strong relationships with. The tough part is he will not get to wear a uniform with them, but he said he couldn’t have asked for more work out of them.
“It is not for a lack of effort, they were good pitchers in a tight game; someone had to win and someone had to lose,” he said. “As a coach there are few times in a game when you think ‘Could I have done one or two things differently to affect the outcome of the game?’”
Lawless said it was a difficult way to end his senior year.
“It is the same situation as in soccer,” he said. “It is hard to lose in the first round to Ward. It sucks losing to them.”
BLHS ended its season with an 11-8 record.