Jake was a snake. As in slippery with a vicious bite.
Jake Dougan pitched a one-hit shutout Tuesday as the Sulphur Springs Wildcats downed Mount Pleasant 10-0 in five innings.
The win evened the Wildcats record at 2-2 after four district baseball games. Mount Pleasant fell to 0-5 in district.
Dougan, threw a variety of fastballs and curves as he pitched a complete game five-inning shutout, striking out nine, walking one and giving up no runs in the 13-4A battle. He just needed 64 pitches to send Mount Pleasant packing on the cool final day of March.
Losing pitcher Cody Heinz last just four innings, allowing seven runs and throwing 72 pitches. Relief pitcher Trey Robinson finished the game for the Tigers.
"Jake was the story, he pitched well. After the first inning he settled down and was very efficient with his pitches," said Sulphur Springs head baseball coach Jerrod Hammack. "This was a big win, a win we needed to get us back on the right track after our loss to T. High. We could swing the bat better, but we had enough base runners tonight to put on some plays. We played small ball with a few bunts and some steals... it paid off."
Sulphur Springs managed nine hits in the game and made the most of seven walks. Senior outfielder Ben Barrows knocked in three and had a double, the only extra base hit of the ball game. Other top hitters for Sulphur Springs was Shane McQueen with a pair of singles and two RBIs; Kolton Jones also had two hits and one RBI; as did Jocko Spataro and Colby Suggs. Dougan and Mason Rawson also had singles.
Tiger leadoff hitter Cody Russell reached base to open the game with a ringing single to center field. Dougan regrouped to strike out Austin Lick on three pitches. The next batter, Cole Lathern drew a walk. But Dougan got defensive help with catcher Spataro gunning down a runner who had strayed off first base. The next hitter grounded out as the top of the first ended.
Sulphur Springs went down quickly to end the first inning.
The Tigers were retired on strikes in the second inning as Dougan used just 11 pitches to slither through the lineup to record three outs.
The Wildcats struck for three runs in the bottom of the second to grab the lead. Rawson walked on four straight pitches and Jackson joined him on base as he also drew a free pass. Dougan's bunt fell in over the pitcher's glove for an infield hit to load the bases. Barrows coaxed a walk to drive in a run with a walk and make it a 1-0 game. McQueen got the second run home with a sacrifice fly ball to right field. A double steal by the Wildcats netted a run as they bolted ahead 3-0.
Dougan was getting stronger and more effective each inning, getting two ground outs and a strikeout on just seven pitches as the Tigers went meekly in the top of the third inning in order.
In the bottom of the third, Sulphur Springs sent nine players to the plate, bunching together three singles and a double for a four-run uprising.
During the flurry of runs, Suggs started the action with a walk. Jones moved the runner to second with a bunt. Rawson singled home a run to make it 4-0. Jackson grounded to second base, but reached base following an errant throw. Dougan walked on four pitches. Barrows followed with a double to the outfield to plate two runs and the Wildcats were smiling up 6-0.
Spataro singled home Barrows for the final run of the frame and make it a 7-0 contest.
Mount Pleasant again failed to get anything going in their at-bat with the side retired in order on 10 pitches with two pop outs and a strikeout recorded by Dougan.
The top of the fifth was another masterful work as Dougan fanned the side in order.
The Wildcats ended the game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth frame, forcing the outing to be called by the 10-run mercy rule. McQueen, Suggs and Jones had key hits to drive in runs as Sulphur Springs claimed the 10-0 victory in under two hours.
"We like to have a game like this. If we can get that kind of performance by Dougan and Suggs gets on a streak, we can still get hot and win this thing (district) we have enough games left," Hammack said.
SS JV 9, MP JV 1
The Tuesday night matchup between the junior varsity squads was also a game dominated by the Sulphur Springs pitching.
Cody Carns of the Wildcats fanned 10 and allowed three hits, one unearned run and two walks in seven innings of work.
Sulphur Springs made the most of seven hits and nine walks to score nine times in the game.
Catcher Taz Owsley had two singles and one RBI; Jose Martinez belted two doubles and drove in a pair of runs; Kade Wimberly had two singles, one RBI and Jared Riley slapped a double.
Sulphur Springs took control of the game early with three runs in the first frame. Ramirez walked, but the next two batters went down on strikes. Owsley pounded a two-out RBI single to right field. Carns walked, then the runners both moved up a base on a passed ball. Riley walked to load the bases. The Wildcats got two runs off wild pitches as they went ahead 3-0.
Mount Pleasant thought they had a rally going after getting a leadoff double and a walk. Owsley silenced the threat with a strong throw to third to cut down a runner attempting to steal the base. Carns got the next two batters to preserve the shutout.
The Wildcats struck for two runs in the second with Ramirez knocking in a run with a double. Another run scored later in the frame off a wild pitch to give the hometown 'Cats a 5-0 lead.
Carns flexed his pitching muscles striking out five of the next seven batters he faced as he got in a groove.
The JV padded the lead with late runs and won by the 9-1 final.
Sulphur Springs will take on district foe Marshall in Friday games at two locations. The varsity plays at Marshall at 6 p.m. while the JV and freshmen host the Mavericks at 4 and 7 p.m. at Eagle Stadium.
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