Wildcats drop final warm-up game to Kilgore
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

May 6, 2006 - This one had to hurt.

The Sulphur Springs Wildcats held a 4-2 lead heading into the fifth inning on Friday, but gave up three runs the remainder of the game to lose their second straight warmup game, 5-4, to the No. 10-ranked Kilgore Bulldogs at Eagle Stadium.

"They are one of the better teams in East Texas and they had their ace on the mound probably throwing in the low 90's," said SSHS first-year coach Jerrod Hammack. "We faced the best that they had and even with the should of, could of, would of, we should have came out of here with a win. We outplayed them most of the time, and we made enough mistakes to keep them in the ballgame."

Jake Broumley took the loss on the mound throwing a complete-game six-hitter while giving up four walks and fanning six for the Wildcats. 

"I thought Jake threw excellent, and he competed. He lost his composure one time, but regained it. He pitched well enough to win the game and we made some mental mistakes," Hammack said. "I am glad to see that he is throwing well, and he is going to have to in the playoffs for us to have a chance to advance."

Sulphur Springs (21-7) will now prepare for the Class 4A, Region II area round against the Justin Northwest Texans at McKinney High School in a 2-out-of-3 series starting at 7 p.m. Thursday night. The series will resume at 7 p.m. Friday in McKinney, with a third game on Saturday if necessary. 

"I told the kids on the positive the last time we lost two in a row, we won 12 in a row, and that plus the fact that the games start next week if we do the things we need to then we should be fine," the coach said.

Josh Riley led the Wildcats at the plate going 1-for-2 with two RBI, while teammate Scott Stewart went 1-for-2 with a run scored. Colby Mills returned to the Wildcats' lineup and went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. 

Kilgore took an early 1-0 lead off Broumley in the first inning as Eddie Jones nailed a single down the left field line scoring Casey Whitmer from second.

But then the Wildcats found their spark.

Sulphur Springs took the lead in the bottom of the third inning off Whitmer as Alex Aguilar opened with a ground-out, followed by a walk to Clay Wilks, and Jayden Spencer was hit for the 13th time this season to put runners on first and second. After Broumley struck out, Riley rapped a bases-clearing double for the 2-1 lead.

Jones tied the game for Kilgore in the top of the fourth inning as he smacked a solo home run to left field, but then the Wildcats gained the lead once again in the bottom half of the inning.

SSHS opened the inning with a single by Stewart, followed by a RBI double from Mills for a 3-2 lead and then Tyler Rhoades grounded out. Alex Aguilar struck out and then Clay Wilks drove in Jeff Beck - who was courtesy running for Mills.

Kilgore scored their remaining runs on a fielder's choice, an error and a double to take the win.

Hammack said there was two plays in particular that changed the momentum in the game as in the bottom of the sixth inning Rhoades was caught stealing by Kilgore catcher Jered Price and then Kilgore closer Daren Chappell struck out the final two batters of the game with the bases loaded.

"We had our chances and I will take the blame for Tyler getting thrown out at second and I told our guys that we don't take aggressive leads and that was a big play because he had too much of a lead and I didn't say anything," the coach said. "In the seventh inning, we had an outstanding hitter up with the bases loaded and Colby did not get it done tonight. I would take him in that situation everyday. This was probably one of the worst losses that I have experienced all year because of the way that they acted and mouthed throughout the entire game."

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