|Wildcats sweep opening two games at Coach Pitch State Tournament|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
July 17, 2006 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats will get the night off on Monday, the reward for coming away with a pair of wins in their opening two games at the 7-8-year-old coach pitch Dixie State Tournament.
The Wildcats, who are hosting the tournament at Coleman Park, came from behind to beat Diana, 6-2, in extra innings in the first round match-up on Saturday, then jumped on Broken Bow early in their 7-4 second-round victory Sunday.
The Wildcats are scheduled to play again at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against the winner between Van Alstyne and Grand Prairie Red, which play at 7:30 p.m. today on Field 4. They are the only three unbeaten teams left in the 12-team field.
In other action tonight in the losers' bracket, Pottsboro and Pittsburg play at 5:30 p.m. on Field 5; Mount Pleasant and Diana face off at 6 p.m. on Field 4; and Tuner plays Broken Bow at 7 p.m. on Field 5. The losers in all three games are eliminated from the tournament.
Wildcats 7, Broken Bow 4
The Wildcats put up six runs in the first inning and held off rallies from Broken Bow in the final three innings.
Sulphur Springs started the game with a single by Cole Cooper. He was erased on a fielder's choice, but Sulphur Springs then bunched three straight doubles by Cason Crawford, Tanner Ramirez and Garrett Jones to take a 3-0 lead. Tristan Goodson followed with an RBI grounder, then Lucas Cerretani, Logan Merrell and Mathew Calhoun all hit safely to plate the other two runs to take a 6-0 lead.
Broken Bow immediately cut into the deficit on Brooks Elisor's two-run homer in the bottom of the first.
But, the Wildcats struck back in the second when Hunter Powell singled with one out and came home on Cooper's double to give Sulphur Springs a 7-2 lead.
Broken Bow added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, but Crawford recorded four assists at pitcher over the final two innings to end the threats.
Wildcats 6, Diana 2
The Wildcats used the long ball in the final inning to power their way to a late lead, then wrapped it up with fine defense.
Crawford led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to center field to tie the game at 2-2, then in the sixth, he doubled into the left-center field gap to plate the go-ahead run. The next batter, Ramirez, then blasted a three-run homer over the left field fence to provide Sulphur Springs some breathing room.
The Wildcats wrapped up the victory when in the bottom of the sixth inning catcher Logan Merrell caught a foul pop behind home plate for the final out.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the second when Jones singled to left field, went to third on a throwing error and scored on Goodson's RBI grounder.
But, Diana took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third on Shawn Isaac's two-run homer over the centerfield fence. The damage could have been worse, but Crawford got the second out of the inning when he came off pitcher's mound to catch a pop fly midway down the third base line.
After Crawford's home run tied the game in the fourth, Diana threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth when the first two batters reached base, but Brandon Foster caught a high fly in center field to end the threat.
Then, in the sixth, Foster singled to lead off the inning and Cooper singled with one out. With two down, Crawford doubled home one run and Ramirez's three-run blast to left field cleared the bases.
Cooper and Crawford ended the game with three hits, while Ramirez, Foster and Jones had two hits each.