14-year old Wildcats undefeated at State Tournament
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

July 17, 2006 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats opened the Dixie Boys North Regional State Tournament undefeated with wins over Atlanta and Whitewright last weekend.

SS defeated Atlanta 10-6 in the opening round on Saturday and then took care of Whitewright on Sunday with a 13-3 thumping at Coleman Park.

The Wildcats will face the winner of the Mount Vernon-Grand Prairie contest at 8 p.m. tomorrow. Mount Vernon and Grand Prairie play tonight at 8 p.m. in the winners' bracket.

In other games today in the losers' bracket, Paris American plays Sanger at 3 p.m., followed by Atlanta vs. Texarkana at 5:30 p.m. The loser of each game is eliminated from the tournament.

Game 1

Sulphur Springs 10, Atlanta 6

The Wildcats found their offense in the third inning as Shane McQueen smacked a home run over the left field fence for the early 1-0 lead.

Jake Spataro then walked and advanced to second on a single by Ryan Carpenter before advancing to third on a throwing error by the Atlanta pitcher. Mason Morton then drove in Spataro with a single before third baseman Mason Y'Barbo cleared the bases with a three-run shot to left field for a 5-0 lead.

Atlanta came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning off McQueen as Matt Lovely reached on a walk followed and then scored on a double by Caleb Hawkins. Hawkins then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single from Ben Paschall for a 5-2 deficit.

The Wildcats came back in the fourth inning with five more runs as McQueen opened with a double and Spataro hit a two-run home run to left field for a 7-2 lead. Carpenter, Morton and Justin Findley also scored in the inning.

Atlanta was able to get two runs in the fifth and seventh inning off of Carpenter for the 10-6 finale.

McQueen went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI, while Morton was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Y'Barbo went 2-for-4 with one run scored and three RBI.

Game 2

Sulphur Springs 13, Whitewright 3

Sulphur Springs took advantage of the run-rule in their second game of the tournament as McQueen went 4-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored and five stolen bases in the lead-off spot.

McQueen opened the scoring with a hit-by-pitch, two straight stolen bases and a wild pitch for the 1-0 lead.

In the second inning, Tyler Higginbotham reached with a single, stole second and scored on a single by McQueen. With two outs, Y'Barbo reached on a single and advanced to second on a single by Lorenzo Rivera. Y'Barbo then scored on an error by Whitewright pitcher Chris Bearden for a 3-0 lead. 

The Wildcats then extended their lead to 4-0 in the top of the fourth inning as Connor Brackhahn scored on an error by the catcher, before Whitewright came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

With the bases loaded, McQueen walked A.J. Bush as Bryant Threadgill scored for the 4-1 deficit. Teammate Kelby Dodson then singled to drive in Troy Worthy to cut the score in half at 4-2.

Sulphur Springs countered with five runs in the fifth inning as Morton opened with a hit-by-pitch, followed by a fielder's choice from Y'Barbo and an error during Rivera's at-bat.

 Y'Barbo then scored on a wild pitch and Alex Peek drove in Rivera for a 6-2 lead. Findley was then hit by a pitch and Brackhahn grounded out before McQueen drove in Findley with a single and went to second on Spataro's walk. Findley scored as McQueen stole third and then McQueen scored on a wild pitch for a 9-2 lead.

Whitewright scored their final run as Chris Bearden hit a triple to right field scoring Hamilton Luper from second.

The Wildcats scored four in the top of the sixth as Rivera and Brackhahn scored on wild pitches and Higginbotham hit a two-run home run for the 13-3 finale.

Higginbotham went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Rivera went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Note: Former Wildcat baseball player Matt Y'Barbo will receive a Dixie League Scholarship at the Farm League Field at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. ... In their game against Atlanta, Spataro threw out two baserunners and was involved in collision at the plate for the final out of the game. ... Sulphur Springs gets an off day today from tournament play.

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