|Wildcats end streak with loss to Robert E. Lee|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
May 3, 2006 - TYLER - If the Sulphur Springs Wildcats needed to lose a game, this was the time to do it.
With the playoffs looming next week, the Wildcats took a 12-7 loss at the hands of the Class 5A Robert E. Lee Red Raiders during their playoff warm-up game at Mike Carter Field on Tuesday.
"They certainly swing the bat pretty well and Alex (Aguilar) threw some pretty good pitches according to Scott (Stewart) and was hitting his spots," said SSHS head coach Jerrod Hammack. "They are very balanced at the plate and they go with the pitch. They are a good team."
Josh Riley led the way for SSHS going 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored, while Casey McMahan went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Jake Broumley went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
In the top of the first inning, Sulphur Springs jumped out to a 2-0 lead as Stewart nailed a bases-clearing double to left center field scoring Riley and McMahan off Robert E. Lee starter Mason Denson.
But then things turned for the worse in the bottom of the inning.
REL (22-6) scored seven runs off starter Aguilar - who went three innings giving up nine hits and eight runs while walking one and striking out one.
Lee's Tyler Pirtle reached on an error and Corey Henderson put two on with a single. On their next at-bat, Denson rapped a bases-clearing single to tie the game at 2-2.
With one out, Patrick Womack walked and then Dylan Tyler cleared the bases again with a double for their first lead of the game. Mike Ross then drove in Tyler with a single and Brandon Kersch singled scoring Ross, followed by a single from Dustin Jones for a 7-2 lead.
"I didn't think we played real well but I was pleased once the score got to 7-2 that we were able to play even the rest of the way," Hammack said. "We did not play well on defense. I told the guys that I would rather not play well in a warm-up game if we can play well next week."
Sulphur Springs was able to cut the deficit to 8-6 in the top of the fourth inning as Tyler Rhoades scored on an error, Clay Wilks reached on an error and advanced to second during the play and then stole third before Blake Wells hit a sacrifice fly scoring Wilks for an 8-5 deficit.
Jayden Spencer then singled and Broumley followed with a single before an RBI single by McMahan got the score to 8-6.
After not pitching during the district season, Spencer came on in relief in the bottom of the fourth inning and gave up four runs - three earned - on four hits and four walks.
With the loss, Sulphur Springs is now 21-6 on the year and had its winning streak snapped at 12 games. The Wildcats will have one more warm-up game at Eagle Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday against the Kilgore Bulldogs.
"Kilgore is like a Texas High and T-High beat them earlier in the year and they didn't face their ace pitcher," Hammack said. "We probably will and he is a good pitcher and throws about 90-92 with a good curveball, and he is a really good hitter."
Hammack said he would start Broumley against Kilgore and look to give some of his other pitchers work during the game.
"On Friday, we will probably go with Jake for three-to-five innings and then come back with Chance Massey and Blake Wells for an inning each," the coach said. "We are going to try and get all of them some work."
Correction: In the season statistics and in the warm-up preview, Broumley was reported as having a .500 batting average (34-of-68) for the season. Broumley actually finished the season 24-of-68 with a .353 batting average. The News-Telegram regrets the error and is glad to make the correction.