|Wildcats run-rule Edgewood at Eagle Stadium|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
March 22, 2006 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats wrapped up their pre-district schedule with an 11-1 win over the Edgewood Bulldogs Tuesday night at Eagle Stadium - but the game definitely wasn't to coach Jerrod Hammack's standards.
"You hate to say that you are not pleased when you 10-run somebody, but we made a lot of mistakes tonight that I really didn't like to see going into district play," Hammack said. "The good thing about this bunch is that since we were not very sharp for most of the game these kids found a way to win."
SSHS (11-5) capped off the game with a six-run sixth inning led by a Josh Riley 370-foot home run to center field with runners on second and third and one out off Edgewood pitcher Dillon Weaver.
Riley went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and five RBI and now is batting 20-of-50 (.400) with 19 runs scored heading into district play.
The Wildcats will now prepare for the District 12-4A opener Friday night against the Paris Wildcats at Eagle Stadium. First pitch for the game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Paris comes into the contest as the defending district champions, while Sulphur Springs is coming in as the runner-up and starting Alex Aguilar for the first of six district starts. Aguilar is 3-1 on the season with a 0.70 ERA with 33 strikeouts and one walk in 20 1/3 innings.
"It is very important. You want to get into a good start for district and especially when you are at home and you have your ace on the mound," the coach said.
"I would fully expect us to play the way that we have not counting tonight and every time Alex is on the mound we score a lot of runs for him and play good defense."
In the bottom of the first inning, Sulphur Springs jumped out to a 4-1 lead as Edgewood committed four errors starting with Jayden Spencer and Jake Broumley reaching on errors.
Riley cleared the bases with an RBI double followed by an error sending him to third and then scored on a passed ball for a 3-1 lead. Later in the inning, Tyler Rhoades drove in Casey McMahan with a sacrifice off starter Will Hogan for the 4-1 lead.
Sulphur Springs left 11 runners on base in the game and had the bases loaded in the second and third innings, and Hammack said that needs to change during district play.
"We had plenty of scoring opportunities and I would dare say that we left 10 runners on base," he said. "They helped us to some degree with errors and passed balls and we have to take advantage of those."
Hammack said with Aguilar as the No. 1 pitcher, the battle for the No. 2 starter is still being worked out between Chance Massey, Broumley and Blake Wells.
"I wanted to see both of them throw again and I have never had this much trouble trying to find a No. 2 pitcher. We didn't get a chance to see Blake because he is a good pitcher and looks very sharp," Hammack said.
Massey took the win on the mound, throwing four innings of three-hit ball while walking two and striking out five. He also gave up one unearned run and now has a 1.96 ERA in 25 innings of work.
Broumley pitched the final two innings of the game and struck out three batters while walking two. Broumley now has 36 strikeouts and 21 walks in 23 innings.
"Chance threw an untypical slow start for him, and I think he threw close to 30 pitches in the first inning," the coach said. "He pitched well enough to win and that is what we did. Jake then came in and I thought he had a better first inning and looked sharp."
McMahan went 2-for-4 at the plate with one run scored, while Wells went 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored, and Stewart went 1-for-2 with two walks.