Wildcats have home field, but Mineola has things go its way

From Staff Reports

Feb. 26, 2007 - Sulphur Springs ended up having home field advantage in the championship game of the Wills Point Invitational Tournament on Saturday. Mineola, though, had just about every thing else going its way.

The Yellowjackets hit five home runs to pull away to a 19-6 victory.

The championship game was moved to Eagle Stadium because the Wills Point field was unplayable due to rain. Conditions weren't perfect here on Saturday, either, with a strong 30-mph wind gusting out to center field.

SSHS head coach Jerrod Hammack said Mineola took advantage of the wind, while the Wildcats (2-1) didn't.

"It was a tough loss. Obviously, a lot of things didn't go our way and a lot of things went their way, which it to their credit," he explained. "Losing like that can sometimes turn a team downhill, or you can just forget about it and move on."

He pointed to Corsicana, which the Wildcats beat 17-0 in a perfect game last year, but went on to the regional semifinals.

"So, it's not the end of the world," Hammack said. "At the same time, I told them we've got things we've got to get better at, in all phases of the game. I think they're receptive to that and they understand that."

The Wildcats can have short memories because they travel to Mount Vernon tomorrow for a 6 p.m. contest.

On Saturday, Mineola took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, then SSHS came back to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the frame when junior Brittan Diamond led off with a solo home run, the Wildcats' first round-tripper of the year.

Unfortunately, that would also be their last one of the game, though junior Josh Dunn came within inches of hitting a grand slam.

Diamond finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and a double to go with his home run. Ladarius Harrison and Jeff Beck also had two hits and one RBI. Chris Thompson, Colby Strain and Jake North also had hits.

Dalton Abner took the loss on the mound, getting knocked around for 10 runs in the fourth inning. Dustin Gant went the first three innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, one walk and one strikeout. Ty Tiegiser threw the last one-plus innings.

"They realize we're not 13 runs worse than Mineola," Hammack said. "It's just one of those things that happen in baseball, and we've got to bounce back from it and get better."

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