LINDALE — The Sulphur Springs losing streak of four games was snapped Thursday with a 5-1 win by the Wildcats over Athens in the Lindale Tournament.
“We needed the win after losing the first four games. This sure feels better. We played pretty well and Athens is a quality opponent,” said Jerrod Hammack on the victory.
Jordan Jackson was the winning pitcher with five innings on the mound.
The southpaw fanned seven, giving up six hits, walking two and he faced 23 batters. He surrendered the lone run for Athens on a wind-blown fly ball which allowed the run to score for the Hornets in the first frame.
Cabo Sanvig finished the game in relief with two scoreless innings pitched. He allowed two hits, striking out two while facing nine batters.
The Wildcats had nine hits as they improved their record to 1-4. Athens drops to 3-2.
At the plate, second baseman Alex Burney had a double, two RBIs and two sacrifice flies. Leadoff man Willy Ivery had a triple, one run scored. Jenner Jackson had an RBI and scored twice. While Jordan Jackson plated a run and contributed a double. Sanvig, Zach Miller and Cole Hill added singles.
Hammack said, “We had good hitting up and down the lineup. Willy opened the game with a triple. He was unable to score, but we hit the ball. The bottom of the lineup was productive in this game. We scored on some sac flies. We moved runners along. That was good to see. We just need to score runs, it doesn’t matter how we do it. We are getting better at the plate.”
The game was played under sunny conditions, but the wind came into play especially on pop flies.
“We had a couple of mishaps due to the wind,” Hammack said. “Some fly balls fell in. We didn’t take care, it really was a communication error. That can hurt you if you don’t have someone calling it and taking control. That’s how Athens got their only run. You can’t have uncertainly on fly balls. Someone has to take over.”
The Wildcats play Paris today at 3:15 p.m. and then take on district rival Mount Pleasant at 5:30 p.m. They play Marshall Saturday at 9 a.m
Senior Jenner Jackson will draw the pitching start against Paris. Brooks, a sophomore hurler, will toe the rubber against the Tigers in the nightcap.
“Paris is a good team, we get to see them a lot because they are nearby,” Hammack said. “Over the years we have played Paris several times and they are a good team. I have known their coach for 10 years, they have a good program.”
Hammack said he will vary his lineup during the tournament and not reveal too much against Mount Pleasant.
“We really don’t like playing district opponents before the start of district. You don’t want to show too much,” Hammack said. “I’ve heard Mount Pleasant beat Paris earlier in the year. I think Mount Pleasant will be better than they have been. They made the playoffs last year as the fourth place team.”
Hammack said, “We’re 1-4, but it is still really early in the year. It’s a slow process ... getting the team together and putting the players in the right places to help you win.”
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