DHS Wildcats strong in the homestretch
The De Soto High School baseball team completed its second two-game sweep of the season Friday when it took two from the Perry-Lecompton Kaws at 3&2 Baseball Complex in Lenexa.
The Wildcats (5-13) defeated the Kaws (4-10) 6-3 in the first game behind the strong pitching of senior Danny Blades. Blades also contributed on the offensive end along with sophomore Greg Francis and junior Willie Meier.
In the second game, De Soto mounted a comeback to win 6-4. The Wildcats trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of the fifth inning. Francis led off with a single, then Blades was hit by a pitch. Junior Jake Miller's bunt tied the game at four and freshman Jake Sterling, making his varsity debut, knocked in the go-ahead run.
"It was my first varsity game and I am proud to be here supporting De Soto," Sterling said. "Its always fun being in a position to win but you have to want to be there."
A Perry-Lecompton error allowed Miller to score an insurance run for the Wildcats. Francis struck out six Kaw batters through seven innings. Junior Harley Mustaffa filled in for senior catcher Ronnie Kraus who played first base in the second game due to an injury. Mustaffa made a critical play when he threw out a Perry-Lecompton player at second base.
Coach Mike Runyon said there was room for improvement despite the two victories.
"Any time you win two games you are going to be happy but we didn't play the best fundamental baseball and we kind of let them hang around with us," Runyon said.
Monday, De Soto traveled to Lansing for a Kaw Valley League doubleheader. The Lions swept De Soto 9-7, 4-3.
In the first game, Lansing jumped out to an early 8-1 lead but De Soto charged back in the last two innings behind the offensive firepower of Kraus, junior Kyle Watts, Meier and Francis.
De Soto lost a heartbreaking game 4-3 in the nightcap. While trailing 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning, Miller hit an RBI single to tie the game at 2. Freshman Aaron Huser and Meier made a series of defensive plays for the Wildcats. De Soto pulled ahead 3-2 on Greg Francis' sacrifice fly-out. Francis also struck out seven batters in the loss.
De Soto took a 3-2 lead into the top of the seventh inning and loaded the bases with one out. Francis bunted and two runs scored to give the Wildcats a temporary 5-2 lead until the home plate umpire called back one of the runs and then both runs, citing that the batter was outside of the batter's box. The Wildcats did not score for the rest of the inning and Lansing capitalized on errors in the bottom of the seventh to win 4-3.
De Soto will finish last week's rain delayed game against Basehor-Linwood Thursday at 3&2 Baseball Complex. De Soto holds a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third inning of the first game. These two contests against the Bobcats are the last two games of the regular season for De Soto.