|Wildcats swept by Mesquite Poteet in opening round of playoffs|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
May 9, 2005 - MESQUITE - Rahn Smith knew going into Sulphur Springs' bi-district series against the Mesquite Poteet Pirates that if the Wildcats got behind early, it would be hard to get a victory.
That was the case in Game 2 Saturday afternoon.
Poteet scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to an 8-3 win at James Copeland Field as they swept the series over the Wildcats.
"We just didn't do what it takes in the beginning," Smith said. "We got hits, but we just didn't get timely hits, and they were able to get the hits when they needed them."
Sulphur Springs wraps up the season with a 17-10-1 record and was the district runner-up to Paris.
"I think the adversity that we faced this year was a big deal as far as our success is concerned," the coach said. "I think we set the tone for something good, I hope, and I thought that we did good this season."
During the bottom of the first inning, Poteet scored all three runs off of Wildcat starter Zach Adair as Ryan Raaser walked and stole second. With one out, Anthony Arrieta singled to drive in Raaser for a 1-0 lead.
Ricky Testa then walked, and Teddy Nowell smacked an RBI single for a 2-0 lead. After Adair hit J.T. Files, Nick Carrio rounded out the scoring with an RBI double for a 3-0 Poteet advantage.
In the bottom of the third, Files reached first after being hit by Blake Wells, Carrio moved Files to second on a single, and Jason Holmes drove him in on a fielder's choice for a 4-0 lead.
The Wildcats came back in the top of the fourth as Josh Riley led off with a double, followed by an RBI double from Casey McMahan to cut the deficit to 4-1.
The Pirates then batted through the lineup in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs off Wells and reliever Jake Broumley.
Arrieta opened up the inning with a single, followed by a strikeout to Ricky Testa, Arrieta reached second on a stolen base, and took third on a passed ball. He then scored when Nowell drove him in with a single for a 5-1 lead.
Files was hit for the third time in the game as Wells hit him both times he came to bat, and Carrio walked to load the bases. Smith then went to Broumley to try and close out the inning, but Poteet scored three more times in the inning to give the Pirates an 8-1 lead going into the fifth.
The Wildcats scored two more runs in the top of the sixth inning as McMahan led off the inning with a 350-foot home run to left field for an 8-2 deficit. Brian Shurtleff then scored the final run of the game on back-to-back errors by Poteet for the 8-3 finale.
This was the last game for seniors Shurtleff, Kason Scroggins and Adair, and Smith said he was proud of what they brought to the Wildcats this season.
"I am proud of these three seniors because we started out with about 20-22 freshman and they were able to stick it out with us," he said. "I hate for it to end like this for them, but I am proud of what they accomplished and the leadership they showed this year."
Blake Wells led the way for the Wildcats going 2-for-3 at the plate in the No. 9 hole in the lineup and finished the series 3-for-4 with three singles.
"Blake is one of those where you expect him to do well in a series like this because he just get up there and plays, and as some of these other guys were tight throughout I felt he did real well for us."
McMahan went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Riley went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The Wildcats pitching staff hit five batters and walked four during Saturday's game and Smith said that was a big area that hurt them not only in this game but throughout the series.
"We gave up too many walks and hit too many batters that ended up hurting us. Nothing really went our way all series, but that is how baseball is, and I was proud of their effort."
Poteet was led by Arrieta who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, Nowell went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run, and Carrio went 2-for-2 with two RBI and a run.
Notes: The Wildcats went 9-16-1 last year and only had two wins in district play. ... Smith said the MVP of the baseball team would be named today since they did not name one at the All-Sports Banquet last week. ... Poteet (20-11) gets McKinney North in the Class 4A, Region II area round of the playoffs this week. ... McKinney North had a bye in the first round.