Wildcats blow away Storm

Millard West’s hot bats contribute to blowout win


Sam Whittaker

Senior Jaxon Cahoy delivers a pitch in the first inning against a Storm batter. Cahoy had a strong game totaling six strikeouts, two walks, and only one hit in four innings of work. “I felt pretty good,” Cahoy said. “[We] had to come in, and we were playing a good team, and you know just went up there and did my thing. [I] Had to make sure to stay loose during those long innings.”

Sam Whittaker, Staff Reporter

On Friday, April 1, The Millard West baseball team traveled to Elkhorn South High School to battle with the Storm. Millard West was coming in with a 6-2 record, while Elkhorn South was sitting at 5-1.

Elkhorn South had a strong start defensively, taking out the Wildcats in order with two strikeouts and a popout. Millard West senior Jaxson Cahoy started on the bump for the Wildcats. He had no trouble going through all three Elkhorn South batters via a flyout to center field, and two strikeouts back-to-back.

Senior Avery Moore watched his way to a walk and it brought up senior Dylan Driessen. Moore wasted no time as on the first pitch, he stole second. Driessen followed this up with a strikeout. A sac-bunt by sophomore Nick Venteicher advanced the runner to third, and senior Devin Jones lined a base hit into right field for an RBI putting the Wildcats up one. The inning would end with a strikeout from junior Peyton Moore, but damage had been dealt. 

“We’ve really been getting these pitchers out of the game at the start,” Venteicher said. “We’re getting relief guys in faster and we’re really coming ready to go. Our bench has been really energetic and we’re bringing energy, so we’ve got good things going on right now.”

Cahoy’s strong start continued in the bottom of the second. After a walk to an Elkhorn batter followed up with a quick strikeout, the Storm got a break after a base hit. An error from Millard West advanced the Storm runner to second. Cahoy quickly shook this off with a popout down the first base line and a ground out to first. 

Millard West blew it open in the top of the third after junior Caleb Lanphear was hit by a pitch. This called up sophomore Jackson Williams, courtesy running for Lanphear. Millard West wasn’t done, as senior Drew Borner was walked and senior Maddux Fleck snagged a base hit making it a bases loaded situation. Junior Korey Cozad watched his way to a walk, bringing in the runner from third and making it a 2-0 lead. The lead was quickly expanded to 4-0 with a double from Avery Moore, putting runners on second and third. A strikeout from Driessen and wild pitch brought in another run, making the score  5-0. Jones snagged a base hit and advanced from an error in right field. Another wild pitch brought Jones to third, and Peyton Moore was walked, but was followed up shortly after with a Lanphear ground out.

Again, Cahoy breezed through the bottom of the third with a strikeout, followed by a groundout and a popout.

The Wildcats started with two base hits from Borner and Fleck which led to a steal from Borner to advance to third.

“We came off a pretty bad loss last time, so it was good to get the bats hot again,” Borner said. “We just gotta come into the next game with that same attitude.”

Cozad was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Millard West, and they took advantage with Avery Moore, and junior Drew Deremer walking to extend the Wildcat lead to 8-0. This brought up Venteicher, with the bases still loaded. He nailed it into right center, giving him a 3RBI double to bring the lead to double-digits at 11-0. Elkhorn South, feeling the heat, made a pitching change which didn’t alter much, as a wild pitch on a two strike count put Jones at first and third. A groundout from Peyton Moore brought up Lanphear again and he knocked himself a base hit as well as an RBI to extend the lead to 12-0. A flyout from Borner gave way to Fleck for the second time in the inning. Fleck would hit a double and collect an RBI. Two wild pitches made the score 15-0 as the inning came to a close with a flyout from Avery Moore. 

“Anytime you score a lot of runs and get off the field quickly, that helps with keeping everyone in the game,” coach Steven Frey said. “With Elkhorn South being a top team in Nebraska, it’s a lot easier sometimes to stay up in those games knowing they can come back on you. We need to play well in all aspects of the game.”

The bottom of the fourth brought Elkhorn some life as they knocked a ball into left for a base hit, taking away Cahoy’s no-hitter bid. This had no effect, as three straight outs via two strikeouts and a flyout ended the inning.

Deremer put the final nail in the coffin with a homerun to leftfield, but the fireworks would stop there. Freshman Brady Ferguson would groundout, followed by a base hit from Williams. This was short lived as the senior Nolan Hunter grounded out into a double play.

Millard West then brought in senior Tyler Spreitzer to relieve Cahoy. Spreitzer set down the first batter on strikes. A flyout to right and a base hit that led to a steal would advance the runner to second. A flyout finished the game to bring Millard West the blowout win: 16-0 with the mercy rule.

Millard West moves to 7-2 on the season after the early finish as they look to rest up and continue this early season success.