|Hello, Championship: Wildcats take care of Texas High for district 12-4A title|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
April 26, 2006 - TEXARKANA - Same weather as last year. Different result.
Fighting against the rain and the cold temperatures at Tiger Field, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats wrapped up the District 12-4A title with a 4-2 win over their fiercest rival in the Texas High Tigers.
"I am just as excited as I can be and I just told them that they have worked hard all year long. All that they have put into this season - the blood, sweat and tears - so to speak and they have risen to every challenge and every setback this year," said SSHS first-year coach Jerrod Hammack. "I am proud of them and they are great kids and they deserve it."
Senior ace Alex Aguilar picked up the win by throwing a complete-game five-hitter with 11 strikeouts and three walks. He also hit two batters in the game and now has a 1.72 ERA with 37 strikeouts in district.
Jake Broumley went 3-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored, while Josh Riley went 2-for-3 with a run scored for the Wildcats.
Hammack said in the bottom of the seventh inning, Broumley made a championship-style play with a bullet from left field to throw out Kameron Forte at home plate for the final out of the game after a single from Justin Coats.
"To be a championship team, you have to make big plays in championship moments," Hammack said. "You had their best player at bat against our best pitcher and he got a hit. They were sending the runner trying to cut the lead in half, and you have to make a play. Jake threw a shot and I think the guy was out by 10 feet, and you have to have people make those plays."
Broumley opened up the scoring in the top of the second inning as he rapped a double off Tiger starter Garrett Larsen, scoring Clay Wilks and Blake Wells for the 2-0 lead.
But Texas High would bounce back in the bottom half of the inning off Aguilar.
Aguilar opened the inning by hitting Jared Washington and then after a stolen base by Washington, walked Josh Gill and Forte to load the bases with only one out. He then hit Stephen Miller to plate Washington for the 2-1 deficit.
In the top of the fifth inning, Sulphur Springs scored two more runs as Broumley hit a single off of Larsen and reached third on an errant throw by Forte that bounced over the fence in left field. Following a walk to Riley, Broumley scored with one out on a passed ball for a 3-1 lead. Scott Stewart then walked and Aguilar was hit for the second straight at-bat before reliever Matthew Gentry hit Wilks with two outs to force in Riley to give SSHS a 4-1 lead.
Texas High cashed in with one more run in the bottom half of the inning as Coats smacked a home run into left field for the 4-2 finale.
SSHS is now 20-5 on the season and 9-0 in district play with one more game left in the regular season against North Lamar on Friday. The Senior Night festivities will start around 6:45 p.m. at Eagle Stadium.
"We are going to continue to work hard this week and certainly that is a milestone. It is hard to go 10-0 in any district and it is quite an accomplishment," Hammack said."I expect Jake to come out and throw strikes and have the defense play well and we should be able to score a lot of runs Friday night."
Notes: Friday night's game against the North Lamar Panthers will be the final regular season game for seniors Jayden Spencer, Broumley, Riley, Casey McMahan, Stewart, Bailey Potts, Aguilar, Tyler Lucas, Wells, Fred Dale, Matt Y'Barbo, Chance Massey and Kiffer Davis at Eagle Stadium. ... The Wildcats had 13 seniors on their 18-player roster after only having three seniors on last year's team. ... The Wildcats have more wins this year (20) than they did during their bi-district season of last year when the team went 16-8-1.