|Aguilar gives Wildcats lift in win over Mount Pleasant|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
April 14, 2006 - MOUNT PLEASANT - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats received a pleasant surprise Thursday night against the Mount Pleasant Tigers.
Senior ace Alex Aguilar returned to the Wildcats pitching rotation and picked up the win in relief of starter Chance Massey during a 9-6 victory at Tiger Field.
Aguilar pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up one earned run on five hits, three walks and eight strikeouts for his fifth win of the season. Massey went 2 1/3 innings, giving up five earned runs on five hits while striking out one.
"They hit Massey early and Alex told me that he felt good after warming up and he never wanted to come out. I thought he threw well for not throwing for 2 1/2 weeks," said SSHS head head coach Jerrod Hammack. "I knew coming in that Mount Pleasant plays well at home no matter what their records are. They are tough at home and they swing the bats well and they were going to give us their best shot."
The Wildcats were led by Josh Riley, Casey McMahan, Colby Mills and Jake North at the plate as they each went 2-for-4, while teammate Jayden Spencer went 1-for-3 with one run scored. Mills led the team in RBI with three on a bases-clearing double in the first inning.
Hammack said he has been impressed with the return of Mills in only his second district start as he is batting .500 in district play.
"I wanted to keep things the way that they were and get him back in the lineup without a big shakeup," Hammack said. "The six hole and the seven hole are good spots and Colby had some RBI's tonight. You are going to get good spots with the six hole and you have to have a good hitter. We have a tough lineup and having him back is a tough out, and he is only going to make us better."
On the very first pitch of the game, Mount Pleasant starter Jacob Crabb hit Spencer to start a five-run first inning, and then in the fifth inning Tigers reliever Cory Amerson hit Spencer for his 12th hit-by-pitch this season.
In the bottom half of the second inning, third baseman McMahan snagged a sharp line drive by Brad Rushing with a diving stop for the third out of the inning.
Hammack said that was a big play in the game and was a big-league play from McMahan.
After trailing 5-0 lead going into the bottom of the third inning, Mount Pleasant found a way to rattle Massey and tied the game as the Tigers had nine batters come up to bat in the inning.
Jeremy Cochran opened the inning with a double, followed by a single from Jacolby Stewart, Brad Payne popped out and Troy Walker drove in Cochran with a single. After an Amerson single, Sam Walker rapped an RBI triple to right field for the 5-5 tie.
The Wildcats countered with two runs in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Clay Wilks scoring Jake North and an RBI double by Riley scoring Blake Wells for his 17th RBI in district play.
SSHS rounded out the scoring with two more runs in the top of the fifth inning as Mills opened the inning with a double, Tyler Rhoades was hit for the second time in the game to put runners on first and second. Mills then reached second on a wild pitch and Jake North reached on an error scoring Mills for an 8-6 lead. Wilks plated Rhoades with a sacrifice fly later in the inning for the 9-6 final.
The Wildcats (18-5 overall, 7-0 in District 12-4A) will take a week off due to Easter weekend and the TAKS test before facing Greenville at Eagle Stadium next Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
"I am going to give them the whole weekend off for Easter and then we will come back Monday rejuvenated and we can start getting ready for Greenville," the coach said. "We may scrimmage each other Tuesday to keep that Tuesday game mode going and come back with Jake (Broumley) Friday against Greenville."
Sulphur Springs 12, MPHS 0 (4 innings)
MOUNT PLEASANT - A six-run fourth inning by SSHS put the game out of reach as time expired Thursday night.
Brittain Diamond led the way for Sulphur Springs going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, while teammates Kevin Mabe, Jeff Beck, Bill Hood, Ladarius Harrison and Dalton Abner each went 1-for-2 in the win.
Mabe was the winning pitcher, going four innings of four-hit baseball with two strikeouts and two walks for the Wildcats.