|Sulphur Springs bows out of State Tournament|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
July 20, 2006 - With one out remaining for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats to advance to the championship game of the Dixie Boys North Regional State Tournament, the Texarkana Tigers spoiled the win on their final at-bat Wednesday night at Coleman Park.
Down 2-1 heading into the inning, Texarkana's Justin Sanders and Logan Rainey struck out before Brandon Rice smacked a triple to right and Carlton Bailey walked as SS pitcher Bryce Jenkins saw his final action of the state tournament.
Then the Wildcats saw elimination.
Sulphur Springs went to reliever Mason Morton with two runners on and two outs, but Michael Gilley hit a sharp infield grounder that was misplayed into an error, allowing Rice and Bailey to score for the 3-2 come-from-behind win.
The first 6 1/3 innings was a pitcher's duel between Jenkins and Rice as only eight base runners reached - all by Texarkana - before Sulphur Springs had the first hit of the game in the sixth inning.
The Wildcats opened with a grounder from Jenkins, followed by a single from Tyler Higginbotham off Rice - who had a perfect game going with 10 strikeouts and only five balls put into play.
During Connor Brackhahn's at-bat, Higginbotham was able to steal second and advanced to third on a single by McQueen and then scored on an error by Rice as he attempted to pick off McQueen from first.
McQueen then stole second and third and scored on a error by the Texarkana catcher for a 2-1 lead. McQueen finished 1-for-3 with two stolen bases and a run scored.
Texarkana took the early lead off Jenkins in the first inning as Colten Riddell reached on a single and stole second before Matt Duff drove him in for the 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats defense was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth inning as Bailey opened with a ground out, followed by a double from Gilley, a walk from Riddell and a single from Duff. Jenkins then got Austin Dodson out on a fly-out and Landon Ashley to ground out to get out of the inning.
Tyler Higginbotham led the way for the Wildcats going 1-for-2 with a stolen base and a run scored and teammate Robert Stevens went 1-for-3 with a single.
The championship game will have Texarkana facing the winner of the Grand Prairie-Paris contest at 5:30 p.m. today at Coleman Park.