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Home News-Telegram Sports Burney sparks Wildcats 2-1 win

Burney sparks Wildcats 2-1 win

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    Alex Burney’s base hit to left field scored courtesy runner Tyler Williams all the way from first as Sulphur Springs took a thrilling 2-1 home win over Marshall Friday night.
    The win sent the crowd at Eagle Stadium on Senior Night home pleased with the outcome in the eight inning contest, which took more than two hours to complete.


    The win was a big one as it allowed Sulphur Springs to not only win their final 14-4A game of the year, but stay undefeated at home. The victory ran their record to 8-0 in Sulphur Springs. The team is 6-4 in district and tied with Mount Pleasant in the standings. The teams meet today at 1 p.m. at Mount Pleasant to determine playoff positions, both have playoff berths clinched.
    Clinched. That was a good word to describe the game Friday against Marshall. Each team matched the moves made by the other.
    It finally came down to eighth inning heroics to decide the contest. In the bottom of the eighth with the game deadlocked at 1-all, Cabo Sanvig reached on a walk. Starting Marshall pitcher Brandon Brune was tiring and gave up the free pass on just four pitches. Williams was inserted to run for Sanvig with Burney coming to the plate. Burney worked the count to 2-2 and as the pitch approached home, Williams took off for second on a straight steal attempt. Burney made solid contact, knocking the ball into the gap between fielders as Williams got on his horse. Williams kept running all the way home and easily beat the throw to the dish scoring the winning run in the 2-1 contest.
    Williams was quickly greeted by teammate, Burney still on the basepath, was also mobbed by Wildcats as the game ended in thrilling fashion.
    Burney said, “When I first hit it, I wasn’t sure he (Williams) could score. But I am glad he did. The Marshall pitcher had been mixing fastballs and curves. I got a fastball I could handle and I pulled it a little to left. I got the pitch I was looking for and I hit it. I think we are playing well, this game will help us in the playoffs.”
    Sulphur Springs head baseball coach Jerrod Hammack was attempting to catch his breath after the nerve-testing contest. “We won, it was a struggle. Marshall stayed with us the whole way, it was a close contest the whole way. When they have that pitcher (Brune) on the mound, they are a very good team. We saw him the first time when they beat us, he pitched well again. We sure could not figure him out, but we were able to get the win.”
    Brune struck out 11 and just allowed two hits and two runs for Marshall, but was tagged with the loss.
    Jenner Jackson, pitching in his final home district game, got the pitching win for the Wildcats. The senior threw 120 pitches on the night, giving up one run, two hits and striking out nine, walking six in the contest.
    “Jenner battled and was ready to pitch even in the next inning if we hadn’t scored,” Hammack said. “He’s such a competitor, I was not going to use him. I told him he’d done enough, he has a career in college. I felt comfortable if we had to come in with Ben Brooks in relief. But as it worked out, we won it anyway.”
    The first five innings were mirror images of each other.
    The pitchers were hitting the strike zone, leaving the hitters to scratch their head. Goose eggs covered the scoreboard with neither team able to score until the sixth frame.
    Marshall pushed across the first run of the game and scratch ahead 1-0 as action moved the bottom of the seventh.
    Jordan Jackson was able to knock in a Burney and the game was deadlocked at 1-all.
    Extra innings were the order for the night as the game rocked on.
    The Wildcats came up with the two-out rally in the bottom of the eighth to win the game. Sulphur Springs players left the game with tired smiles following the marathon battle.
    “This is just an example of the competitiveness of our district,” Hammack said. “We have a tough one like this for our last game. We got good pitching and enough hits. Burney has been doing a really good job for us and did it again. We were fortunate when he got the hit, the runner was in motion and the ball went in between the fielders where they had to turn and make a throw. Williams kept running, he has good speed and it all worked out. This was a big one for us.”
    The Wildcats, regardless of the results of the tiebreaker game in Mount Pleasant, will make the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year. Sulphur Springs has been in the playoffs for eight years in a row under Hammack.

 

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