|Wildcats take care of home field advantage|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
April 2, 2005 - In only their third home game of the season, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats took care of home field advantage against the Greenville Lions at Eagle Stadium Friday night.
Down 3-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, Sulphur Springs scored three runs in the fourth and fifth innings combined to take an 8-4 win and sole possession of third place in District 12-4A.
"It was a big win because Greenville is a good baseball team and they are able to put the ball into play, steal a lot and put pressure on our defense," said SSHS coach Rahn Smith. "I think we played real good defense tonight, and Zach did a good job on the mound but struggled in the first inning and then he was able to settle down and gave us a chance to win."
SSHS is now 11-6-1 overall and 2-1 in district play with a match-up against the Texas High Tigers in Texarkana Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
"We are going to focus on Texas High, which is a tough place to play, but if we play the way that we did tonight we will have a good shot to win," the coach said. "Texas High is real similar to Greenville, and we are going to come back and focus on them the way we did Greenville."
In the first inning, Greenville took the early advantage when Gabriel Garcia nailed a Zach Adair pitch for a triple and came around to score on a Brad Espino RBI single for a 1-0 lead.
Sulphur Springs came back in the bottom of the inning looking for a triple of their own from Colby Mills, but he was picked off at third on the relay from Greenville teammates Colten Cummings and Craig Turner to Travis Smith for the out.
"We have been talking about picking each other up all week, and I told the guys that there are times that they are going to have to pick me up when I make a mistake," Coach Smith said. "Colby didn't get a good jump out of the box and I should have held him up at second in the first inning."
The Wildcats did not let the first inning mistake hurt them as they bounced back in the bottom of the second on an RBI double by Jake Broumley to score Kason Scroggins, and then Mills nailed an RBI single to score Broumley for their first lead.
The two teams combined for nine runs in the fourth and fifth innings but Sulphur Springs sealed the win off Greenville reliever Chase Martin in the fifth.
Scroggins, Broumley and Blake Wells all scored after being walked in the inning as Mills picked up an RBI when Garcia walked him to bring home Scroggins from third. Broumley then scored on a fielder's choice from Josh Riley for a 7-4 lead, and Wells scored on a passed ball by Greenville catcher Greg Bond for the final score.
Mills was the leading hitter for the Wildcats going 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI, while teammate Scott Stewart went 2-for-4.
Adair took the win on the mound going five strong innings, giving up five hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. Wells came in relief of Adair and gave up one hit and four strikeouts in two innings of work.
"Blake is going to put the ball across the plate and get ahead of hitters, and he was able to close out the game for us tonight in relief of Zach," Smith said.
Espino went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Lions, and teammates Dylan Potts and Bond were each 1-for-3.
"You don't like to be fighting your way up from the bottom of the district. Staying close to the top and with the pack is important, because like I said in our district anyone on any given night can beat anybody in our district," Smith said. "We came out tonight ready to play and we did what we needed to do to win the game."