De Soto bats come alive against Holton
The De Soto High Wildcats found the sweet spot on their bats this past week in doubleheaders against Holton and Bonner Springs. But their defense and pitching continued to be a bugaboo as the Wildcats lost three of the four games they played.
De Soto coach Steve Deghand earned his first win with the Wildcat program when De Soto knocked off Holton 7-6 in the first game of a doubleheader last Thursday. They were also in position to sweep their first series of the year, but Holton earned a split with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Both games went into extra innings as the teams played a combined 18 frames.
"The kids were excited to win their first game of the year," Deghand said. "And we were in position to win the second, but we came up just short."
Three Wildcats smashed home runs for De Soto, the first three of the season. Harley Mostaffa and Troy Gower each had one against Holton, and Jesse Smith hit one out versus Bonner Springs.
De Soto also drilled six doubles in the four games and ended the week with a .464 slugging percentage and a .357 (50-for-140) batting average.
"We did get the homeruns," Deghand said, "but our hitting was spotty. It's important for us to become more consistent with our hitting, throw more strikes and get better defensively.
In the opener with Holton, the Wildcats built their biggest lead of the game when Gower hit his one-out solo home run, giving the Wildcats a 6-4 advantage in the sixth inning.
But then, Holton got the next 12 De Soto batters out, including 1-2-3 innings in the seventh, eighth and ninth to give themselves new life.
Holton was then able to get its first three batters on board, via a couple of singles and a walk, in its half of the seventh inning to tie the score at 6-6.
De Soto scored the winning run when Leif Goleman was hit by a pitch with one out in the 10th inning. He advanced to third on Mostaffa's single and scored when Sean Karashin reached safely on an error.
Holton went down 1-2-3 in the 10th.
The nightcap was a slugfest, with 35 hits and 21 runs scored, and neither team could manage more than a two-run lead. Holton took a 3-1 advantage after the first inning and never trailed in the game.
De Soto scored multiple runs in four-straight innings as it rallied to tie the game at 10-10 in the sixth inning.
Five Wildcat batters hit .300 or better against Holton, including Smith (.556), Matt Lowe (.500) and Mostaffa (.625) who all hit .500 and better.
Smith scored five runs in the twin bill, while Goleman, Mostaffa and Karashin all scored three times.
It appeared De Soto would win the opener against Bonner Springs after the Wildcats pounded four hits and scored five runs in the sixth inning to take a 9-5 advantage.
But Bonner Springs took advantage of a home run and two doubles and drilled the Wildcats for four hits and 10 runs in the seventh inning to take a 15-9 win in the opener.
Bonner Springs held the Wildcats scoreless for the first four innings in the nightcap and built a 3-0 lead during that time span.
They secured the win when they