Wildcats remain tied for first with win over Paris

By JIMMY ROGERS | News-Telegram Correspondent

April 2, 2007 - PARIS - Wildcat baseball pocketed their third district win Saturday night as they downed Paris 8-1 at the Hub Hollis Baseball Complex in Paris. Rain Friday forced the game to be moved to and 8 p.m. start Saturday.

Brittain Diamond went the distance on the mound for the Cats. He faced 28 batters, striking out 9, walking 3 and giving up 1 run on 4 hits.

�When you've got Brittain Diamond on the mound, he's going to compete for you. He's going to get after it. He always throws well. We have a lot of confidence in him,� Coach Jerrod Hammack said after the game. Although Hammack thought Diamond might have thrown too many pitches, he said, �He competes so you can't ever fault him for that.�

Sulphur Springs' defense provided the back up needed to control the Paris offense in what Hammack called a “solid team effort”. An error in the bottom of the seventh was the only blemish on an otherwise flawless effort. “The guys behind Diamond, the defense, have gotten a lot better as the season has progressed. We're making routine plays and we do enough good thing offensively moving runners when we need to in order to win ballgames,” stated Hammack.

The Cats scored a run in the first, two in the third, one in both the fourth and the fifth innings and three in the sixth. “It wears on the opposing team when you get a run every inning and you just keep wearing them down with little things that aren't fancy,” said Hammack, “just grinding it out, and yet you are scoring runs and you're getting further ahead. It just wears the other team down and is a plus for us.”

With two out in the top of the first, Tyler Rhodes singled to right. Colby Strain then knocked a long ball to right for a double scoring Rhodes. Strain was thrown out at home on a Clay Wilks shot into right field to end the top of the inning.

Cat batters went three up and three down in the second but came back to life in the third with runs scored by Jeff Beck and Ladarius Harrison. A Paris error aided the scoring effort.

In the fourth, Jake North led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. The next two Cat batters struck out. Beck hit safely to left and Diamond picked up the RBI with a drive into center field.

Rhoades led off the fifth inning safe at first after an error on the Paris second baseman. Strain and Clay Wilks sacrificed Rhoades around the bases and home with back-to-back long balls to right field.

Regan Eisele pitched the seventh inning in relief for Paris' Colton Reavis who was the losing pitcher. Reavis gave up five runs on eight hits, struck out five and walked one. Eisele faced seven Wildcat batters in the seventh giving up three runs on three hits. With two out in the seventh, Strain, Wilks and North scored for the Cats. A Josh Dunn' single to right accounted for two of the runs.

Paris' only run came in the bottom of the seventh when J. P. Cochran, batting for second baseman Jon Mark Abbey, singled to right and later stole second base. Diamond walked Andrew McCarley moving Cochran to second. Diamond struck out the next batter. Reavis came to the plate with runners on first and second and hit one to third baseman Rhoades who stepped on the bag for the second out of the inning. Rhoades attempted a double play but his throw to first was wild allowing McCarley to score and Reavis to reach second safely.

The Paris rally was short lived. Paris shortstop Josh Rea hit the ball toward his Sulphur Springs counterpart but the ball struck the runner, Reavis, who was called out for interference ending the inning.

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