HALLSVILLE — The Wildcats ran into a buzz saw here Tuesday night.
Connor Reich struck out nine as Hallsville took a 9-0 win over the Wildcats in District 14-4A action.
Sulphur Springs was held to four hits on the night as Hallsville dominated the contest.
“I thought we would bounce back and play better, but we struggled from the start. Hallsville is a very good team without our help. We made six errors by my count and put four more on by walks or hit batters,” said Jerrod Hammack, Sulphur Springs head baseball coach. “You can not give Hallsville 10 free base runners and beat them. We have to play better and compete.”
Hallsville scored three times in the first inning and added four more in the third to jump ahead 7-0 after three frames. The team added single runs in the fourth and sixth frames to claim the 9-0 victory in seven innings.
Reich got the complete game win for Hallsville allowing just four hits. The Bobcats, ranked No. 8 in the state, are now 18-2 overall, 3-0 in district.
The Wildcats fell to 1-2 in district, 11-6-1 on the year.
At the dish, Jenner Jackson was a bright spot with two hits. Kason Matthews and Ben Brooks also had singles.
Jordan Jackson took the pitching loss, throwing 106 pitches on the cool evening. In four innings pitched, he allowed seven hits, eight runs (four earned runs), walking three and striking out six as he faced 26 batters. Brooks pitched two innings, giving up one run off two hits, fanning three as he faced nine batters.
In sub-varsity action played at Eagle Stadium, Sulphur Springs won the freshman game 2-1 and lost the junior varsity game, 8-6 in eight innings to Hallsville.
Hallsville JV 8,
Sulphur Springs JV 6
The Sulphur Springs Wildcats overcame a 6-1 deficit to tie the game 6-all and force extra innings. Hallsville rallied for two runs in the top of the eighth to win 8-6 in a marathon three-hour game played under chilly conditions.
The visitors put up three runs in the third and added three more in the top of the fifth to what appeared to be a commanding 6-1 lead in the contest.
Hunter Coleman started a rally in the bottom of the third, coaxing a walk. Zach Terry also drew a free pass to give the Wildcats two runners with no outs. Parker Aguilar singled home a run, but was tagged out trying to stretch the hit to a double. C.J. Stephens knocked in a run on infield chopper to make it a 6-3 game.
Coleman found his stride on the mound pitching in relief and retired the Bobcats with a scoreless top of the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, Dillon Carpenter singled. Two passed balls later, Carpenter was on third. Kade Hudgins connected for an sacrifice fly for an RBI to cut the Hallsville lead to 6-4. Carson Hicks doubled down the left field line. Coleman singled Hicks home and the hit made it a 6-5 game. Starter Payton Reich of Hallsville was removed in favor of relief pitcher Justin Slater. Zach Terry and Stephens worked the new hurler for walks to load the bases. With the sacks juiced, Brock also coaxed a walk for an easy RBI to tie the game at 6-all. With the bases loaded, catcher Ryan Ferguson was caught looking at a third strike. The rally was ended, but the game was tied at 6-all.
Neither team scored in the seventh frame, forcing extra innings.
In the top of the seventh, Jacob Popinger tripled and Erin Denby singled for Hallsville and the scored was 7-6. Michael Graham was struck by a pitch in the back to load the sacks. Coleman was replaced on the mound by Kade Hudgins.
Hudgins got outs on a fly ball to the outfield and an infield grounder. Dionte Johnson drew a walk to load the bags. Leadoff hitter Jacob Goss singled to plate a run and give the visitors the 8-6 lead. Hudgins got the next hitter to pop out, but the Wildcats had their work cut out for themselves down, 8-6.
In the bottom of the eighth, Stephens walked and Brock reached on an error. Ferguson also walked. Hallsville went to the bullpen again and put Graham in the game to close out the game on the mound. With the bases loaded, Carpenter struck out. On the final play of the game, Hudgins hit a slow roller down the third base line that was fielded quickly, the throw to first base narrowly nipping the runner for the third out, ending the threat and game, leaving the bases loaded.
The game ended with Hallsville taking the 8-6 win.
Carpenter started on the mound for the Wildcats and was replaced after 2 1/3 innings. Coleman pitched from that point until he was replaced in the eighth frame in favor of Hudgins.
Hicks had a double in the game with Hunter Elliott, Coleman, Stephens, Aguilar and Brock all knocking in runs.
“I think the team played hard. We never gave up, being down 6-1 in the fourth and coming back to force extras,” said Trent Ledkins, JV coach. “I've told them week in and week out that this is a tough baseball district and we're going to have to play as well as we can every game to win. In this game, we played hard, but didn’t win.”
SS 9th 2, Hallsville 1
Tyler Follis pitched a complete game to earn the win as the freshmen Wildcats took a 2-1 win.
Follis faced 27 batters, giving up one unearned run on two hits, striking out four, walking one and hitting one batter.
Garrett Jones plated a run in an unusual way. He was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, the run breaking a 1-all tie and giving the Wildcats the 2-1 lead which would hold up as the winning margin.
Austin Reyes contributed two hits in the tight contest. Kaden Moore, Cain Cody and Matthew Malone had one hit each.
Hallsville scored in the top of the second, but the 1-0 lead would not hold up long.
In the bottom of the third, Follis reached with two outs. Following a passed ball, the Wildcats had a runner in scoring position. Cody reached on an error as the Wildcats tied the game at 1-all.
Sulphur Springs took the lead with a fifth frame rally. Cole Cooper reached on an error. Moore beat out a slow roller to third base. Follis grounded out. Cody was intentionally walked to load the sacks. Jones was hit by a pitch to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead they would hold on for the victory. The SS freshmen at 10-3.
Coach Bruce Silman said, “Our freshmen played a solid game. I am very impressed with Follis on the mound. We were able to mix it up a little and keep them out of rhythm. Defensively, we also played well and had good plays that were very crucial in the outcome of the game. Players competed well and I feel we improved as a team.”
The JV and varsity play at home Thursday with games set at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Pine Tree does not field a freshman team.
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