LINDALE — The Whitehouse Wildcats took a 1-0 series lead over Sulphur Springs with a 7-5 win Friday in the first game of the Class 4A area baseball playoffs at Lindale High School.
Sulphur Springs (20-10-1) will try to win twice Whitehouse (24-8) in action starting at 1 p.m. today. A win by Sulphur Spring in Game 2 would force a third and deciding game which will be played at the same locations, 30 minutes after the conclusion of the second game.
In Friday night’s battle, junior Patrick Mahomes got the win for Whitehouse on the mound. Senior southpaw Jordan Jackson of Sulphur Springs threw more than 120 pitching in the defeat. Whitehouse had 11 hits on the night and took advantage of three Sulphur Springs errors.
Sulphur Springs got three RBIs from Cole Hill on a bases-clearing double. Jenner Jackson had a two-run double in the first inning for Sulphur Springs. Willy Ivery, Cabo Sanvig and Alex Burney also got hits.
The Sulphur Springs Wildcats took the early lead at 2-0 thanks to the run scoring double by Jenner Jackson. Whitehouse scored one run in the second, two more in the third, another single run in the fifth and three more in the seventh. The Wildcats had two runs in the first and three more in the seventh with no scoring in the middle frames.
“We didn’t play particularly well. What is a bright spot is that we played poorly on defense and had errors and still just lost 7-5,” said Jerrod Hammack, Sulphur Springs head baseball coach. “If we play like we are capable of playing we can come back and win. I expect us to bounce back and win today. We are just trying to win two games in a row, we have done that before.”
Hammack said, “We have to get more consistent scoring. We had two runs in the first and did not score again until the seventh. We had a chance to win it. It was 7-5 with Hill on third after his big hit and we thought we had scored. Jenner Jackson hit a deep fly ball that Hill tagged up on and ran home. The umpire ruled Hill had left early and it went from behind a 7-6 game with one out to a 7-5 game with two outs in the seventh inning. That call took whatever wind we have left in our sails.”
Hammack said he was unsure if Hill left early or not, but could not fault either side for the call.
“Maybe Cole did leave early, but in the heat of the game, he was trying to make a play,” Hammack said. “I had a bad feeling when they appealed the call that it would go against us.”
Hammack said, “Jordan pitched a complete game. But he walked several and hit some batters. We gave up too many free bases. We did not do the job on defense behind him.”
Hammack said the team was not discouraged by the loss and could turn the series around with a win in game two.
“If we win the first game on Saturday, then we have momentum and we are right back it it. It’s 1-1 and we have Ben Brooks going in the third game. If that happens, then I feel good about our chances.”
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