|Wildcats look to capitalize on runner-up season|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
March 24, 2006 - The games really start to count for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats starting tonight.
After wrapping up the pre-district schedule with an 11-1 win over Edgewood Tuesday night, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats open up the District 12-4A season against the Paris Wildcats in a match-up of two playoff squads from last year.
SSHS was the runner-up to Paris in 2005, while the Texas High Tigers finished in third place. The Wildcats lost in the bi-district round to Mesquite Poteet last year.
In other district action tonight, the North Lamar Panthers travel to Mount Pleasant (2-11), while Texas High (11-5) takes on Greenville (6-10).
Last year, the Wildcats lost in the district opener, 8-4, to Paris and then in the rematch needed a thriller in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 9-8 at Eagle Stadium as Colby Mills drove in Bailey Potts for the winning run.
Sulphur Springs (11-5) returns 10 players back from that team and have 13 seniors on their 17-player varsity roster.
Coach Jerrod Hammack is going with his ace Alex Aguilar for the first of six district contest tonight as the senior has a 0.70 ERA in 20 1/3 innings this season. He has struck out 33 batters while walking one and giving up 13 hits.
Aguilar was the Pitcher of the Year last year for the Wildcats after going 9-1 with a 2.75 ERA in 77 innings while striking out 82 batters, walking 42 while giving up 66 hits. Sulphur Springs also has the Offensive Player of the Year back in senior Josh Riley, who is batting .400 this year in 16 games.
District play will resume next Tuesday as the Wildcats host Mount Pleasant.
Tonight's varsity action starts at 7 p.m. at Eagle Stadium in the third game of a four-game homestand.