Wildcats lose first game to Athens, 5-1
From Staff Reports

March 1, 2006 - ATHENS - After outscoring opponents 29-6 in their first two games of the year, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats lost to the Athens Hornets 5-1 at Hornets Field Tuesday night.

"We didn't execute the fundamentals in any aspect of the game yesterday. We didn't run the bases well, we didn't swing the bat real well, and we didn't situational hit very well," said SSHS head coach Jerrod Hammack.

"We had runners in scoring position but we couldn't get it done and our defense broke down and gave up some key runs."

Chance Massey took the loss on the mound for the Wildcats and Hammack saidit was a good outing for his first start. Massey struck out five and walked two batters in the loss. 

"Chance did pretty well, and he struggled at times. He threw more pitches than I would have liked, but he has good stuff and we have to get his confidence up," the coach said. "He went six innings for us and if we would have went seven innings, Alex (Aguilar) would have pitched to give him some innings."

After Athens jumped out to a 3-0 start heading into the third inning, Colby Mills and Aguilar opened the inning with walks, and Mills advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on another passed ball for a 3-1 deficit.

Athens pitchers struck out nine Sulphur Springs batters and allowed only one hit on a single by Aguilar in the fifth inning. Aguilar finished the game 1-for-1 with three walks.

"They threw their ace, and I was glad to see that," Hammack said. "We helped him out a lot and we only got one hit. We didn't do anything that we needed to do to win ball games."

Sulphur Springs (2-1) will play Lindale in the opening round of the Oil Belt Classic in Kilgore at noon tomorrow, while Game 2 is set for Friday at 2 p.m. at Longview Pine Tree High School against Pine Tree, and the Wildcats will play at 4:30 p.m. against Liberty-Eylau.

"We are going to go with Alex, and I am hearing through the grapevine that they are probably going with their No. 1 pitcher, and he is an excellent pitcher," Hammack said. "This tournament is definitely going to test us and every game we play will be against a quality playoff team. We are going to have to be ready to play and execute the fundamentals in order to have a chance to win."

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