Wildcats defeat Texas High for one-game lead in district play
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

April 5, 2006 - With six games remaining in the regular season, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats are on a six-game winning streak dating back to March 16, a 4-0 start in district play and a one-game lead over the Texas High Tigers in District 12-4A.

SSHS (15-5 overall, 4-0 in district) defeated Texas High, 6-5, with a game-saving play in the top of the sixth inning to preserve the win.

"It was a huge game and a lot of times coaches want to downplay big games but there is no need to hide that," said SSHS coach Jerrod Hammack. "You got two great teams and they are by far the toughest competition that we have played this year."

On a right field shot by Tigers' shortstop Justin Coats that went past Wildcat right fielder Alex Aguilar, Texas High's Stephen Miller went for the game-tying run from first base and was thrown out on the relay from Aguilar to Tyler Rhoades and then to Scott Stewart for the third out of the inning.

"Alex was trying to make a play and that lead-off hitter is a tough out from what I had been hearing," said SSHS first-year coach Jerrod Hammack. "He is a great hitter and hit a line drive and tried to make a play with two outs, and I would have tried to send the runner.

"That was a gutsy throw by Alex because he is hurting still in his arm, and he throws it to Rhoades perfectly and Rhoades threw a perfect shot to Scott for the out."

Jake Broumley picked up the win for the Wildcats throwing a complete-game six hitter, striking out four and walking one with three earned runs. Broumley is now tied with Chance Massey and Aguilar with 4-1 records on the year, and Broumley has a 2.60 ERA in 35 innings this year.

"Jake threw well and he was gutsy. The only time he got hurt is when he left the ball up and they hit them hard," the coach said. "He was very effective and we played some great defense behind him."

Josh Riley once again had a strong performance for Sulphur Springs going 2-for-2 with one RBI and one run scored, while Rhoades went 2-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI and Jayden Spencer went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.

Sulphur Springs picked up the early lead in the bottom of the first as Spencer reached on a single off freshman pitcher Josh Turley, advanced to second on a grounder by Broumley, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a single to left field by Riley.

T-High (14-6, 3-1) scored four runs in the top of the second inning off Broumley as Jared Washington reached first on a single, advanced to second on a fly-out, went to third on a single by John Stilson and scored on an error by Broumley as Stephen Miller reached first. 

Justin Coats then rapped a triple off Broumley scoring Stilson and Miller and then Coats scored on a passed ball for the 4-1 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning, SSHS got two runs off Turley as Rhoades and Aguilar each singled before senior Blake Wells nailed a double to center field scoring Rhoades. Spencer then drove in Aguilar with a unassisted grounder to the pitcher.

The Wildcats regained the lead in the bottom of the third inning with three runs off reliever Matthew Gentry as Riley, Casey McMahan and Jake North scored for a 6-4 advantage.

SSHS will look to continue the win streak Friday night at North Lamar - which lost 5-0 to Paris and is now 0-4 in district play - at 7 p.m. in Paris. 

"North Lamar is traditionally a good program and you can never take anybody lightly. Alex is going to Trinity Mother Frances to let them check out his arm and hopefully the results are positive," Hammack said. "Hopefully, he can come back Friday but if not then Jake, Chance or Jayden can throw."

Notes: The Wildcats welcomed the return of junior Colby Mills to the lineup as he was the courtesy runner in the bottom of the fourth inning for Broumley. ... The last loss for the Wildcats was a 2-1 loss to Lindale March 14 in Lindale. ... The Mesquite game which was scheduled for last Saturday was canceled due to a double booking by the Skeeters. ... SSHS will be on the road for the next three games before returning home April 21 against Greenville as they will have only two more games at Eagle Stadium.

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