Poteet powers past Wildcats
Tyler Clifton | News-Telegram Sports Writer

March 5, 2004 -- MOUNT PLEASANT -- The first few games of a baseball season allow a team to find out quite a bit about itself, and Sulphur Springs knows it won't be a team to come back from early, large deficits.

They found out Saturday afternoon against Mesquite Poteet, as the Pirates put up a five-spot in the first inning and never looked back on their way to an 11-1 win in five innings to capture fourth place in the final round of the Mount Pleasant Tournament.

MPHS (2-1) scattered five hits in the first inning off Casey McMahan (0-1), who surrendered all 11 runs, eight earned, with two walks, one strikeout and three hit batsmen. He lost control at times but deserved better fate, as one of the hits was in short left field and two others were of the infield variety.

The Wildcats (2-2) split their first four games of the season but were outscored 21-1 in their two losses.

"They were a real good hitting team, and we got some bad breaks with those bloopers and slow ground balls," SSHS head coach Rahn Smith said. "I knew Casey wasn't coming in with his best stuff today, but we didn't have many options.

"We're not the type of team that can come back from the big inning. We're a group that has to manufacture runs, steal a base here, steal a base there, and it was tough once we got behind early."

The Pirates tacked on two more runs in the second on RBI sacrifice flies from left fielder Anthony Arrieta and catcher Brian Scott and four in the third for an 11-0 lead. Arrieta finished with four RBIs and had a two-run double before being thrown out at third on a relay throw from Josh Riley.

SSHS got on the board in the fourth, as first baseman Colston Copeland reached on an error and scored on catcher Kason Scroggins' RBI single. Adam Peugh also had a hit. The Wildcats threatened an inning earlier with two runners in scoring position, but designated hitter Riley Tatum was robbed of a hit by a diving Arrieta.

Scroggins finished 2-for-2, while shortstop Logan Pogue was 2-for-3 with an RBI double.

"We feel confident after this tournament, but there are a lot of things we still need to improve on," Scroggins said. "Our pitching hasn't been too bad, and our goal is to have everything put into place by district.

"We've got a lot of work to do before Tuesday, and we need to go out there looking to put the ball in play and not worry so much about hitting the ball hard."

Senior Bobby Brown bounced back from a subpar performance Friday against North Lamar with two solid innings of relief. He allowed two hits, struck out two and got out of a mini-jam in the fourth inning.

"Bobby didn't have a great time Friday but came out and threw strikes," Smith said. "He allowed the defense to work behind him."

The Wildcats committed only one error and seem to be improving defensively. Smith expects improvement in that area as the season goes along and said he was impressed with the team's hustle even though the scoreboard wasn't in its favor.

"If we had a one-hopper to the pitcher, the guys were still hustling down the line," Smith said. "They never gave up at any point, and I think that type of mentality will help us down the road."

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