Sulphur Springs loses first game of tournament
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

July 19, 2006 - A day off for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats turned out to be a tough loss in their third round matchup at the Dixie Boys North Regional State Tournament Tuesday night at Coleman Park.

Grand Prairie jumped out to a 9-0 lead after the first inning en route to a 16-6 run ruled shortened game over the Wildcats in the double elimination tournament.

Grand Prairie is now the only undefeated team in the state tournament, while Sulphur Springs, Texarkana and Paris each have one loss.

The Wildcats are in a must-win situation today against Texarkana for the right to play in the state championship game against either Paris or Grand Prairie. Today's game starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by Paris and Grand Prairie at 8 p.m.

In the bottom of the first inning, GP went after Wildcat starter Bryce Jenkins with six straight hits as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead capped off with a three-run double to left field by Bo Burkhalter. Following a fielder's choice and two singles by Grand Prairie, Mason Feeler and Glen Morrison hit back-to-back two-run doubles to end the first inning scoring.

In the bottom of the second inning, Sulphur Springs' Mason Morton smacked a home run to left field to cut into the Grand Prairie deficit before GP scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach.

GP opened the inning with a single by Jose Balderas, a double by Winward Title and a bases-clearing double by Burkhalter for a 11-1 lead. Following a fly-out and a strikeout, Dillon Essary drove in Burkhalter with a single.

The Wildcats came back with four runs in the top of the third inning as Tyler Higginbotham opened with a walk, followed by a single from Connor Brackhahn and Shane McQueen getting hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jake Spataro drove in Higginbotham, and then Ryan Carpenter rapped a bases-clearing single to left field for the 12-4 deficit. Carpenter later scored on a single by Robert Stevens.

 In the fourth inning, GP plated three more runners as Burkhalter opened with a walk and later scored on Chris Spikes' single to right field. Following a walk and a wild pitch to Essary, Morrison hit a two-run triple for a 15-5 lead. 

The Wildcats looked to extend the game to seven innings as Carpenter lead off the fifth with a single, went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on another wild pitch for the 15-6 deficit.

In the bottom half of the inning, Grand Prairie's Logan Bailey opened with a double off Carpenter, reached third on a single by Balderas and scored on a wild pitch as the game was called.

McQueen went 2-for-2 with a stolen base and a run scored, while Carpenter went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI for the Wildcats.

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