|Three Hopkins County teams win respective tournament, fourth team qualifies for state tournament|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney and Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Staff|
July 1, 2005 - Sulphur Springs got in on a triple play in Dixie district tournament action Thursday night.
Three local teams won their respective tournaments with convincing wins, and will all advance to state tournaments this month. A fourth SS team also qualified for state.
The 7-8 Coach Pitch team rebounded from a Game 1 loss in the championship series to knock off Paris in the deciding game, while the 9-and-Under team made a clean sweep of its bracket, whipping Paris National in the championship game. Both tournaments were held at Coleman Park.
Over in Mount Vernon, the 11-and-Under team came through the loser's bracket to sweep Paris National in the championship series and win their tournament.
The local 14-and-Under team qualified for its state tournament by virtue of placing among the top three. Results of their game against Franklin County played Thursday night were not available at press time.
7-8 Coach Pitch
Sulphur Springs American 7
As the only unbeaten team in the tournament going into the championship series, the SS American Wildcats needed to win just one of the final two games. They had to wait until Game 2 to pick it up.
The Wildcats hit the ball in just two innings - scoring twice in the first and five times in the fifth, while Paris scored in four of the five frames.
Paris put up five runs in the top of the first and held the lead throughout the remainder of the contest. The Wildcats put a dent in their advantage in the bottom of the first as Cain Cody laced a ground-rule double and Kade Hudgins reached on an infield single. They were plated by consecutive RBI from Aaron Smith and Larry Pryor Jr.
Then, in the fifth, Smith kept the Wildcats' home run streak alive when he hammered a two-run shot to center field that cut the Paris lead to 10-6. Scoring ahead of him were Tyler Williams and Landon Brock, who both singled, and Hudgins, who drove them in with a double. The Wildcats scored once more as Will Sant's double, which plated Pryor.
While the Wildcats couldn't produce any other scoring opportunities, they did receive a couple of outstanding defensive plays from Williams in the outfield. He made a diving attempt to catch a fly ball in the second inning and alertly got the ball back into the infield for a double play. Then, in the fourth, he made a sliding grab of a sinking fly ball to strand two runners.
Sulphur Springs American 12
Once the Wildcats started hitting in the fifth inning of the first game, they didn't stop, scoring in each of the first three innings to end the game on the 10-run rule.
With the victory, the Wildcats qualified for the state tournament in Pittsburg on July 9.
The Wildcats scored six times in the first to take an immediate lead. The big blows were a two-run single by Hudgins that drive in Brock and Cody, who both singled, and RBI singles by Smith, Sant and Joseph Moreno.
With four more runs in the second inning, the Wildcats started pulling away. Cody hit his second home run of the tournament and the Wildcats' sixth in four games, with a two-run shot to left center. Moreno then put two more runs up with a single that scored Pryor and C.J. Stephens, who both singled.
Then, in the third, Brock rapped a two-run single to plate Hunter Crowson and Williams.
The final two innings, the Wildcats' defense took over. In the third, Brock took all three outs at shortstop, making a lunging catch of a line drive, fielding a high chopper in the hole, and then scooping a grounder up the middle. Then, in the fourth, Hudgins at third made a nice play to his left to throw the runner out at first.
The final out came when Williams made a sliding catch of a line drive to left center.
Sulphur Springs 17, Paris National 3
With a state berth clinched, the Sulphur Springs Sliders wanted one more thing - a first place finish in the Dixie Boys 9-and-Under district tournament at Coleman Park.
And they got just that behind a complete-game, three-inning, no-hitter from Patrick Covington over the Paris Nationals.
Coach Brandon Brock's Sulphur Springs squad will now prepare for the state tournament in Paris July 16 as the top seed, while Paris National advanced as the second seed in District 5.
The Sliders started their offensive attack in the first inning with singles from Alex Burney and Trevor McClure in front of Brennan Brock, who smacked a two-run triple for a 2-0 lead. Carson Hicks then reached on an error which sent in Brock from third, and scored on an RBI double by Willie Ivery for a 4-0 lead.
Ivery tried to make the score 5-0 with an inside-the-park home run but missed the bag at third and was tagged out on the play.
Paris National was able to get a run in the bottom of the first as Jake Clark walked to start the inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch for the 4-1 deficit.
Sulphur Springs then scored seven runs in the top of the second inning as Ross Cody doubled with one out and scored on Garrett Hood's RBI single. Burney then nailed an single, scoring Hood for a 6-1 lead, and scored on an RBI bunt single from McClure.
McClure and Hicks, who singled, both scored on wild pitches for an 9-1 lead. Ivery then walked and scored on an single from Kason Matthews, who came around on Covington's RBI single for an 11-1 lead.
The Sliders came back with six more runs in the top of the third inning as Cody started with his second double of the game, and Burney drove him in with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, went to third on a McClure single, and scored on a throwing by the Paris second baseman for a 13-1 lead.
Brock then got on courtesy of a throwing error that scored McClure, Hicks followed by getting on with an error by the Paris shortstop, and Ivery drove in Brock. Matthews then walked to load the bases, and Covington drove in Hicks for a 16-1 lead. Mason Moore rounded out the Sulphur Springs scoring with a RBI groundout scoring Ivery from third for the 17-1 lead.
Paris National scored the final two runs of the game in the bottom of the third.
Burney and McClure both went 3-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored, while Ivery and Cody went 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Ivery had two RBI in the win.
Sulphur Springs Mad Dogs 12
Paris National 9
MOUNT VERNON - The Sulphur Springs Mad Dogs rose from the losers' bracket to face Paris National in the championship game on Wednesday, while hoping for a victory in order to force the "if necessary" game on Thursday.
Kason Childress took the mound for Sulphur Springs and pitched a complete game, fanning nine batters while picking up his second victory in the tournament. He received strong defensive support from Sean Hoffman, Kason Clark, John Bell and Ethan Boatman.
The game was scorless until Paris jumped out to a four-run lead in the top of the fourth. Sulphur Springs answered back with four of its own when Boatman slapped a three-run double to left field after Paris issued four consecutive walks.
After Paris' lead off batter scored to start the fifth, Childress closed the inning out by fanning the next three batters.
Clark singled to start the fifth for Sulphur Springs and scored on Bell's RBI double to right. Hoffman and Kade Koon continued the scoring spree with shots to left and right fields. The final score of the inning came when Boatman reached on a walk and Bell recorded his fourth RBI and second double of the inning as Sulphur Springs held a 12-5 lead.
The Mad Dog defense held on the final two innings to preserve a 12-9 victory and force a final deciding game Thursday night to determine the District 5 champion since both teams had one loss each in the tournament.
Hoffman went 2-for-2 with two doubles and a walk, followed by Boatman and Bell going 2-for-3 with two doubles. Justin Sanders was perfect at the plate recording two singles.
Coach Steve Carter said, "I was proud of the team effort the kids displayed on the field tonight. They showed a lot of heart by responding to a 4-0 deficit playing a complete game without a single defensive error."
Sulphur Springs Mad Dogs 18
Paris National 14
Clark started the final game of the tournament on the mound for
Sulphur Springs and it turned out to be a slug fest for both teams.
The Mad Dogs jumped out to an early three-run lead in the top half of the first as Clark and Boatman singled and John Bell doubled. Paris responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning to take the lead.
The second inning was a different story as Clark found his groove and only allowed one run while Sulphur Springs lit up Paris for six runs in the second, lead by Childress' triple and doubles from Hoffman and Perry. Tanner Stonaker, Colby Carter and Koon recorded RBI singles to complete the scoring in the second.
Cole Devereaux put the breaks on an early scoring threat by Paris with three runners on in the third frame when he caught a deep fly ball at the
centerfield warning track to hold all but one at his base.
Clark recorded his first victory of the tournament by going four innings on the mound and turning an 18-10 lead over to Bell, who came on in relief
to pitch the final two innings.
Childress led the way offensively, going 3-for-4 with a triple and two singles. He was followed by Hoffman who went 2-for-2 with a double, a
single, and three walks, and Perry who went 2-for-2 with a ground rule double and a single, and Justin Sanders who had two singles.
Others contributing included Clark who three singles, Koon driving in three runs with two singles and walk, while Boatman went 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk.
The Sulphur Springs Mad Dogs will begin state tournament play in Carthage on July 16.
After the game, Carter said, "We are looking forward to competing for the state championship. This is a special group of kids that does not care about individual achievements. They only care about the team and its performance as a whole. Sulphur Springs will be well represented in