|SSHS one-hit by Lions' Brancheau|
|Tyler Clifton | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
April 4, 2004 -- Rahn Smith told his Sulphur Springs baseball team that it's time to do a bit of soul searching.
Smith told his players Friday night to think about what they could do differently to turn their season around and promised them he would sit down and see if there were any changes that needed to be made.
Some of them are obvious, such as the fact the Wildcats will struggle as long as they don't hit the ball, and it continued against Greenville.
Lion pitcher Paul Brancheau struck out eight and allowed only one hit, as GHS beat the Wildcats 10-0 in six innings at Eagle Stadium for their second consecutive shutout.
"We can't be satisfied with being a bad baseball team," Smith said. "It didn't matter whether they scored 10 runs or two, because we didn't get on base.
"Kevin (Roberts) never got to rest between innings, because it was three-and-out every time. I was going to take him out after the fifth, but he wanted to go back out there. He's not one to quit and wants to pitch."
Alex Heavin struck out his first time at bat, but finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs, finishing a triple short of the cycle. The Lions' speed created runs, as they stole seven bases and now have 82 thefts in 18 games.
Brancheau allowed a first-inning double to Adam Peugh on a sidearm pitch he probably wishes he could take back. He faced only two over the minimum.
The Wildcats (7-10-1, 0-3 District 11-4A) remain the lone team in district to not win a game and has only nine hits in its last four contests.
"It's ridiculous," Peugh said. "We put the ball in play, but it was right at people.
"We need a full effort from one through nine, and we can't win games with just one or two hits, none at all. Kevin pitched a good game, and they found the holes. We should do the same."
Roberts (2-3) was again the victim of poor run support. He retired the first three Lion hitters in order, but GHS (9-9, 2-1) scored in each of the next five innings.
Travis Smith (2-for-4) singled and scored on Taylor Carter's RBI groundout in the second. Chase Potter (2-for-4) doubled home Brancheau, and pinch runner Landon May crossed the plate on Colton Cummings' sacrifice fly in the third.
Brad Espino drove home Craig Turner with a double in the fourth and scored on Brancheau's sacrifice fly. Brancheau finished 2-for-3. Potter led off the fifth and scored on a passed ball.
Roberts didn't tire, even after throwing 105 pitches. He struck out seven, including three straight late in the game. His bad luck was epitomized, after pinch hitter Treymar Pitts struck out but reached first on a wild pitch. Pitts stole second and scored on Brancheau's triple.
"We need to keep working hard and come back Tuesday night ready to play," Roberts said. "It's difficult pitching in such tight situations, because the game is different, the tempo is different and the momentum is different.
"I don't blame my teammates for anything. I have faith in these guys, and no one on this team is going to quit."
Lance Brogan got in the hit column, driving in Brancheau. Heavin capped off the night by taking a 1-1 pitch from reliever Zach Adair deep over the centerfield wall.
Riley Tatum reached on a Brogan throwing error in the second, before Brancheau retired the final 14 batters.
"The pitching staff has been key for us, as we have three guys who can get the job done at any time," GHS head coach Johnny Cardenas said. "We did a good job on the bases, which is our bread and butter."
Sulphur Springs JV 10, Sherman 5
Sulphur Springs followed up its win over Denison by defeating the Sherman Bearcats to improve to 2-0 in district play.
Jake Brumley went the distance on the mound, striking out 12, walking one and giving up six hits.
The Wildcats (8-5) had 14 hits, as Jayden Spencer and Scotty Stewart led the way with three hits each. Brumley, Tory Matthies and Kyle Taylor each added two hits.