Wildcats improving on defense as district approaches
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

March 12, 2005 -JACKSONVILLE - With only five games remaining on the pre-district schedule for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats, head coach Rahn Smith was pleased with one area of Friday night's win at Jacksonville - the defense.

"We are getting better on defense and the kids know that we need to get better on the defensive end and when we get into district we have got to cut out the errors completely," the coach said. "We can live with the amount of errors that we had in tonight's game with how our offense was producing."

The Wildcats offense (6-4) pounded out 12 runs on 13 hits in a 12-8 victory over the Jacksonville Indians at Norman Field and will now prepare for the Terrell Tigers Tuesday night in Terrell. First pitch for the contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.

This upcoming week is spring break for Sulphur Springs and Smith said the break makes it tough on the players because of limited workout days they will get next week between the Terrell game and the start of the Corsicana tournament, their final tournament of the year, beginning on Thursday afternoon.

"Going into the spring break, you are not in your same routine and it is tough to play. I thought we had the advantage because Jacksonville is on spring break and you have got to keep things as normal as possible," Smith said.

"We were real aggressive at the plate tonight and aggressive on the bases and hopefully we can do that against Terrell on Tuesday night and that our defense will improve for that game."

Junior Josh Riley went 2-for-3 against Jacksonville and opened up the scoring for the Wildcats with a solo home run down the left field line for a 1-0 lead. Riley also had a triple and three walks, with two of those being intentional in the fifth and sixth innings.

"Josh is very competitive and he comes to the park every night and you know he is going to be on the bases a couple of times during the game. He will play solid on defense, and he has stepped up and become one of the leaders for the team," Smith said. "He is hot right now and you don't want to see him at the plate when he is hot."

The final three innings against Jacksonville were the key innings for the Wildcats as they scored nine of their 12 runs behind solid hitting from the middle of the lineup.

Jake Broumley, hitting in the No. 8 hole, went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the top of the seventh inning to give Sulphur Springs an 11-6 lead.

Alex Aguilar improved to 2-0 on the mound with the win, pitching seven innings, giving up eight hits, seven runs, eight strikeouts and one walk, and teammate Blake Wells picked up his third save of the year with one run on two hits, striking out two and walking one in two innings of work.

"Alex did a great job on the mound for us tonight keeping us in the game, and Blake came in and closed the game out just like we expected him to. He has been a big part of our season so far," Smith said.

Lance Wallace and Carlos Sturrock led the way for the Indians going a combined 4-for-8 with four runs scored and Sturrock had three RBI in the game.

Teammates Jeremy Canady went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Barrett Lewis was 2-for-2 with two runs scored.

"I thought we competed really well in the game. We didn't play the kind of defensive game that we are looking for yet, but we did what we needed to do offensively to win the game," Smith said. "Offensively we have been OK all year, but we just need to put together a complete defensive game right now and that is what we are looking for."

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