Baseball team splits with Basehor-Linwood
Mid-game meltdowns determined the outcome of both games Thursday at Basehor-Linwood.
In the first game it was the Bobcat pitcher. In the second game it was the Chieftain's turn.
"Both kids were pitching really well until the fourth," said Chris Herron, Tonganoxie baseball coach.
Tonganoxie won the first game. Zeb Sanders hit a three-run home run in the fourth, driving in Jared Walters and John Barnes.
"That was one of the hardest balls I've ever seen hit," Herron said. "That got us rolling."
The Chieftains added six runs in the fifth and three in the sixth, winning 12-1.
"We just boom, all of a sudden got it done," Herron said.
The tables turned in the second game. Tonganoxie led 5-1 after a four-run first.
Kyle Rodell reached base on a passed ball. Zac Sanders was hit by a pitch. Eric Whitner walked and Walters hit a three-run home run.
In the fourth inning, a couple of walks and two errors turned into four runs for Basehor-Linwood.
"Then all of a sudden it's a tie ballgame," Herron said.
The games Friday at Piper have Herron's attention because the Pirates return seven starters from last season.
"Piper's going to be tough," Herron said. "They're good."
While he was discouraged last week, Herron was more upbeat about the team this week.
He said several younger players including Rodell and Zac Sanders, a catcher, are developing into better players.
Rodell, who stole second in the first inning of the second game at Basehor-Linwood, is on pace to break the school record for stolen bases. Herron said Rodell is a threat every time he reaches base.
"We wish we had a little more pitching" Herron said, echoing the lament of coaches and managers at every level of baseball from Little League to Major League Baseball.
The Chieftains put their 5-7 record on the line Tuesday against Santa Fe Trail.
The varsity plays Piper at 4 p.m. on Friday. The junior varsity plays Basehor-Linwood at 4 p.m. on Monday.