|Wildcats run-rule Royse City in home opener|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
March 17, 2006 - Home, Sweet Home.
After 14 games played on the road this season, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats returned to Eagle Stadium Thursday against the Royse City Bulldogs for the first of a four-game home stand.
"It is a good sign to get off to a nice start at home, and it is nice to see how we played against Mansfield and came back and lost a tough one to Lindale - you just always wonder how young people are going to react," said SSHS coach Jerrod Hammack. "I thought we came out today and took care of business."
The Wildcats run-ruled Royse City, 11-1, behind a complete-game three hitter from senior ace Alex Aguilar. He also struck out nine and gave up one run in the win.
"It is unfair to him, but it is what I expect of him every time out and you know when he steps out on the mound you have a chance to win and to be competitive," the coach said. "He will pitch six out of the 10 district ball games and that is a good sign."
Aguilar has a 0.70 ERA with 33 strikeouts and one walk in 20 1/3 innings while giving up 13 hits and two runs - both earned - and is 3-1 on the season.
The Wildcats scored in every single inning off Royse City pitchers Doug McCain and Dalton McAden as Wildcat senior catcher Scott Stewart nailed a home run off each pitcher and finished with four RBI on 2-of-3 hitting with two runs scored.
"Scott can hit the baseball and he definitely has home run power, and I don't expect home runs," Hammack said. "He did exactly how we had talked about it in practice and with a left-handed pitcher he drove him to right field and then the right-handed pitcher he hit him to the left field wall."
SSHS (10-5) opened the first with a single by Jayden Spencer and Aguilar flied out to left field for their first out. Spencer then advanced to second on an error by Mickey Mojica and went to third on a passed ball.
Josh Riley then smacked an RBI triple to score Spencer and Casey McMahan hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Riley from third for a 2-0 lead. McMahan had two sacrifice flies in the game as both went to right field and finished 1-for-1 with two RBI and a run scored.
Royse City found a way to get on the scoreboard against Aguilar as Curtis Sexton opened the inning with a single, stole second and then scored on a double by Bradley Herron for a 7-1 deficit.
Sulphur Springs biggest run-producing inning was the fourth inning in which they sent seven batters to the plate and scored four runs off McAden.
Blake Wells opened the inning with a double, followed by a walk from Spencer. Aguilar flied out to center and then Riley doubled to score Wells, McMahan hit a sacrifice fly, and Stewart hit his second home run to left field for the 11-1 finale.
Hammack said with the game being in the middle of the day and this being Spring Break for SSHS, the home crowd was surprising and helped the players, and he hopes to have a bigger crowd Tuesday night.
"I am sure that it did and I think it was Alex that mentioned to me that we would have a good crowd. It means a lot to them and they deserve it. They work hard and play well, and they are enjoyable to watch," the coach said. "I think as we win more and more that we can fill up these stands once we get into district."
Riley went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBI, Tyler Rhoades went 2-for-2 with a run scored, Wells went 2-for-2 with one RBI and one run scored, and Spencer went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI.
The Wildcats face Class 2A Edgewood Bulldogs Tuesday night at Eagle Stadium with the first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m., and Hammack said the game will be tough.
"Edgewood is a very competitive 2A team, and they were the only ones that responded back when I put our open date on the computer site," Hammack said. "If somebody wants to play us we are going to play them, and I expect us to do what we did tonight against Edgewood."