LONGVIEW — Just when Pine Tree needed a solid game, they got one.
The Pirates had eight hits and took advantage of four Sulphur Springs errors taking a 7-2 win Friday night.
The win pushed the Pine Tree squad firmly into first place in the 14-4A race with at 7-2 ahead of Hallsville’s 6-3 record in second place.
Sulphur Springs fell to 5-4 in the district race, they are tied for third with one game left, but have a playoff berth secured.
“Things certainly did not go the way we wanted. We had four errors and with Pine Tree’s eight hits it gave them enough runs to win,” said Jerrod Hammack, Sulphur Springs head baseball coach. “We had the lead early, they came back and tied it. Then they took the lead, give them credit. They did the things they needed to do to win the game.”
Jordan Jackson was tagged with the loss for the Wildcats. Jordan pitched five innings, facing 25 batters, throwing 78 pitches. He struck out five gave up seven hits, he allowed six runs, three of those were earned. Ben Brooks pitched relief giving up one run, one hit, striking out one as he faced five Pirates.
Sulphur Springs had eight hits and scored twice off Pine Tree starter Chandler Minze. He threw 101 pitches, 68 strikes.
Cabo Sanvig had two hits and knocked in a run. Zach Miller added the other RBI with a double and scored a run. Jordan Jackson had two singles in the game. Kason Matthews added a double and also scored a run. Getting one hit each were Alex Burney and Cole Hill.
Sulphur Springs struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the second. Little did the Wildcats know that they would not cross the plate again.
“We came out hitting the ball well. We did not score in the first, but we made contact. Then we got two runs in the second and I felt like we were going to get the job done,” Hammack said. “We had other chances to score, but could not score.”
The Wildcats struck out nine times against Pine Tree and left six runners stranded on the sacks.
The Pirates tied the game at 2-all in the second and added three more runs in the third to go out to a 5-2 lead they would not relinquish. Pine Tree tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth innings as they won by the 7-2 final.
“We split with Pine Tree on the season. They outplayed us Friday,” Hammack said. “Jordan pitched pretty well. Pine Tree took advantage of our errors. We did not score like I thought we would against them.”
Sulphur Springs has one game left in the regular season as they host Marshall at 7 p.m. on April 26 for Senior Night.
“We don’t play Tuesday because of testing, we will just have practice. I had rather play and get the bad taste out of our mouth from this loss to Pine Tree, but those are the rules,” Hammack said. “Looking at it as a glass half full, we can get some good work done in the practices. We need to work on making contact and hitting ground balls and using our speed. We had too many fly ball outs against Pine Tree.”
The coach added, “We need to use the game with Marshall as a jump start into the playoffs.”
Hammack said no playoff opponent had been decided.
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