Bobcats are Butch Foster Classic champions
BLHS strikes early, silences Wildcats in tourney finals
Kansas City, Kan. While Holton baseball players did most of their talking with their mouths, Basehor-Linwood let its bats do the talking.
The result was an 8-3 Bobcat victory in the championship game of the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic Saturday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Basehor-Linwood took control early, and the Bobcats never relinquished control of the game. Destry Bryan pitched five solid innings and Jared Patton tossed the final two to close out the victory.
First-year BLHS coach Brian Lohafer said he was pleased his team improved from day to day throughout the tournament.
“I asked the kids on Friday, ‘How many times have you played for this championship?’ And they said, “We’ve never played for this championship,’” Lohafer said. “It’s huge for us. It’s very big. The kids were excited about playing, and every day they got a little more excited. It seemed like they just built a little bit of momentum every time.”
Austin Stubbs pitched the Bobcats to a 7-5 victory against two-time defending champion St. James Academy in the first round. Then the Bobcats beat tournament host Bonner Springs 12-8 in the semifinals.
Against Holton, BLHS took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Jayce Rymer reached on an error to open the game, and Bryan followed with a double that brought Rymer home. Bryan later scored on a ground ball by Tyler Ogden.
Bryan retired the Wildcats in order in the bottom of the first, and then the Bobcats returned to the plate and tacked on two more runs for a 4-0 lead. Tanner Garver and Rymer scored on a triple by Bryan.
Holton scored once in the bottom of the second, and the score remained 4-1 until BLHS plated three runs in the fifth inning. Rymer scored on a wild pitch, Nathan Quigley scored on a ground out by Seagar Smith, and Patton scored on an Ogden double.
Patton entered with a runner on base in the bottom of the sixth. A BLHS error kept the inning alive, and two Wildcats scored before Patton earned a pair of strikeouts to get out of the jam.
BLHS scored once in the top of the seventh for an 8-3 lead, and then it was up to Patton to seal the deal.
The heat was on.
“It wasn’t so much pressure, as their team chatting a little bit and kind of getting in our heads,” Patton said. “But I settled down after my first inning and struck out the next two or three guys.”
After allowing back-to-back singles, Patton struck out Holton’s Huner Olberding looking. Olberding jawed at the umpire all the way back to the dugout before being ejected. The next two Wildcats struck out swinging, and the Bobcats soon hoisted a championship trophy.
“It’s a big thing for us, because nobody expected us to do this,” Patton said. “We’re finally coming around and hitting, and we’re coming together as a team. Hopefully we can carry that into regionals and go to state.”
Bryan finished the title game with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate with a double, a triple and four RBI. Quigley also was 2-for-4.