West dominates at the plate

Wildcats varsity baseball team defeats Lee’s Summit West


Tenley Wright

Millard West played a tough game and adjusted to different situations quickly. The team is getting used to playing together and is getting better every game. “I think our team continues to gradually improve with our approach at the plate,” senior Corbin Hawkins said. “Slowly, guys are falling into their roles in the lineup and understanding what they need to do to help the team.”

Garrett Wilcoxen, Staff Reporter

On Monday, March 29, the Millard West Baseball team took on the Lee’s Summit West Titans in a high scoring matchup. The Missouri team took on the Wildcats twice, in a double header.

The game started off with the Wildcats in the field and junior Keghan McDaniel at the plate. Junior Jaxson Cahoy started on the mound for the Wildcats and threw three straight strikeouts, leaving the Titans empty handed. In the bottom of the first, junior Maddux Fleck was able to get to third base with two outs on the board. Senior Corbin Hawkins was then able to launch a ball over the left field fence to put the Wildcats up by two. 

That’s always a good feeling, knowing I could help my team throw some runs on the board,” Hawkins said. “I have never been much of a power guy, so it’s good to know I can pop on one every once in a while.”

The second inning started off fast, with Cahoy throwing a strikeout, followed by a pop fly caught by senior Devin Jones. Then, succeeding a groundout to first base, the Wildcats were back at the plate in the bottom of the second. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the inning ended shortly, after three straight strikeouts. The top of the third started with Cahoy throwing another strikeout, followed by a base hit for Lee’s Summit West. Then, a Titan player got on base on a ground ball, and after a pop fly sacrifice, they had two players in scoring position. However, Cahoy was able to shut down this opportunity quickly with a third strikeout, ending the inning.

After a strikeout by Fleck to start the bottom of the third, senior Cade Owens hit a triple into center field. Following the big play, junior Avery Moore struck out, but on a catching error, Owens secured a third run for Millard West. The Wildcats weren’t able to score again, and the Titans got back to the plate. Cahoy was able to throw multiple strikeouts this inning, and a pop fly to center field that was caught, ended the Titans stride. On the Wildcats’ bat, Lee’s Summit West’s pitcher overthrew a pickoff intended for first base, which led to junior AJ Tauber advancing from first to third. Shortly after, the Titans got their last out, but not before Millard West put one more on the board from an RBI.

In the fifth inning, the Titans were able to score one run, but that was no match to the Wildcats’ three in the bottom of the inning. Following this inning, the sixth was a long one, with Lee’s Summit West scoring two runs. Once again, Millard West topped the Titans and were able to score six runs, ending the first game in a mercy rule. 

“The team got ahead in the count and did a great job of throwing strikes on the outside of the plate,” coach Steven Frey said. “Their defense really struggled, and we capitalized on those mistakes, along with hitting the ball well on line base hits.”

The second game began slowly for the Titans with them getting no runs and the Wildcats striking them out quickly. Unfortunately for Lee’s Summit West, the Wildcats had the opposite turnout in their half of the inning. Millard West came out fast, scoring seven runs in the first inning. The Wildcats got two walks early on and with two outs, Jones was able to hit a ball far right field and get two more runs for Millard West. Directly after, Fleck hit a ball far left, and the Wildcats got two more to put them up seven. 

In the beginning of the second inning, the Titans seemed as if they had lost all motivation and made several mistakes, ending their stride. The Lee’s Summit West pitcher made up for their scoreless previous inning and struck out the Wildcats several times. This ended the inning and brought the Titans back to the plate.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, sophomore Drew Deremer was able to hold Lee’s Summit West to no runs again with several strikeouts. On Millard West’s turn at the plate, they were able to bring in five runs before getting shut down. Senior Ty Kalb scored the first off of a ground ball right field, and after a left field grounder by Hawkins, they secured two more runs. Soon after, Hawkins and one more ran in to bring it to five on the inning. This brought the score to 12-0 going into the fourth inning.

Once again, the Wildcats played incredibly defense, and the Titans went back to the dugout empty handed. Millard West was able to get six more runs in during the bottom of the fourth, and it looked like it was a sealed game. Although the Wildcats were up by eighteen runs, the Titans came out strong in their last inning and put up a good fight. They scored six runs, but ultimately fell short, ending the game in a mercy rule, 18-6.

The Wildcats will be back in action on Friday, April 2, against the Elkhorn South Wolves. Elkhorn South has a record of 4-5, and the Wildcats are 8-2, so the game will be one to watch.