One final victory
DE SOTO -- Although the 2007 campaign came to an end for the Baldwin High School baseball team, it didn't come without one final postseason win.
BHS (4-15) finished its season with a 15-0 loss to No. 1-seeded Bishop Ward here Monday night, but it defeated Basehor-Linwood 16-8 first.
"It was a great win," coach Brock Hartshorn said. "We hit the ball well for the first five innings and we held on to win 16-8. I thought we hit the ball the best we have all year."
The Bulldogs' first game was the play-in game to see which team would advance to play Bishop Ward later in the day. They used a 10-run third inning to propel them to the postseason victory.
"It's nice to get a win at the regional and advance," Hartshorn said. "It felt really good. I am proud of the kids with how they came out and played knowing they were in that game. It could have gone either way with how our season has gone."
The BHS players were thrilled to keep playing Monday.
"It was probably our best game all year," senior Scott Meisenheimer said. "We just kept on top of things and kept each other up during the game."
Basehor took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning before Baldwin exploded for 13 runs in the following two innings.
BHS scored three in the second and 10 more in the third. Nearly every single BHS batter crossed home plate during the inning.
"That broke the game wide open," Hartshorn said. "They really got on top of that pitcher and continued on to the next guy," Hartshorn said. "We just hit the ball hard and made things happen for the first time in a while.
"With a lead like that, we can pitch and not have to walk people," Hartshorn said. "We can throw the ball over the plate and let small things happen."
Junior Zach Durr credits the successful hitting to the players listening to the coaches.
"The coaches have been preaching to focus on the ball and swing at the first good pitch you see," Durr said. "We just went up there with that plan and I guess it worked."
With a 13-1 lead after its at-bat in the third inning, Baldwin had a chance to end the game by run rule if it held Basehor scoreless in the bottom of the inning.
Basehor was down to its last out, but hit a single that eventually scored one run. That forced a fourth inning of play.
Baldwin added three runs in the fourth to take a 16-2 lead. BHS again had a chance to end the game early, but Basehor rallied to score four runs and extend the contest.
"We were wanting to get out of there early, especially with the heat (Monday)," Hartshorn said. "We could have got out of there in three or four innings, that would have been nice. We were like one out away both times from ending the game."
The Bulldogs wouldn't score another run during the final three innings. Basehor would cross home plate twice as Baldwin held on to win the game.
"It felt good to get the win," sophomore Alan Callahan said. "We played good, but we have to keep it going through the whole game."
Durr pitched six innings to pick up the win. Junior Michael Barnes pitched the final inning.
"It feels pretty good, because it's been so long since I've gotten my last win," Durr said. "It felt good to go out there and throw."
Hartshorn was pleased with Durr's performance on the mound.
"Zach pitched the best he has in a while," Hartshorn said. "For a kid that has thrown almost 1,000 pitches all year, to get out there and get that done for six innings is a great accomplishment. It's also nice for him to get a win, because he has lost some heart-breaking losses."
That would be the last chance for a win by a BHS pitcher this year. Baldwin returned to the field later to play unbeaten Bishop Ward and lost 15-0 after four innings.
Despite the loss, Hartshorn said it was good for his team to play against someone like Bishop Ward.
"We told our kids this is an opportunity we look forward to," Hartshorn said. "We get to see what it's like to have a program like that. It's the best team and program in the state."