Wildcats bounce back to win final two games of Ennis tournament

From Staff Reports

Mar. 12, 2007 - ENNIS - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats bounced back from a loss to tournament champion Midlothian in the first round of the Ennis tournament on Thursday to win their final two games over the weekend.

The Wildcats lost to Midlothian 9-4 in the opener, but then whipped Seagoville 13-1 on Friday and beat Dallas Bryan Adams 12-2 on Saturday.

SSHS head coach Jerrod Hammack said he was most pleased with the approach the Wildcats took at the plate. Hammack has been teaching the batters to use the entire field, and they did so this weekend, averaging almost 10 runs per game.

"We bounced back and are finally getting an understanding of how we want to approach our hitting," Hammack said. "We had guys going back through the middle the last two games.

"We saw a lot of guys start to figure it out and hit the ball gap-to-gap, which is what we work on in drill work, what we preach, and I think it's finally sinking in and coming around."

Midlothian 9, SSHS 4

The Wildcats scored all four of their runs in the first inning, but Midlothian scored five runs in the first two innings, then put the game away with a three-run seventh.

Five of the Panthers' runs were unearned.

In the first for Sulphur Springs, Brittan Diamond led off with a double and Dalton Abner singled before Tyler Rhoades was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ground balls by Clay Wilks, Jake North, who also scored, and Josh Dunn plated the runners.

Diamond took the loss on the mound, giving up eight hits and two walks while striking out nine in seven innings. Five of the runs charged against him were unearned.

SSHS 13, Seagoville 1

The Wildcats scored early and often, ending the game in the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule.

Again, Diamond doubled and Abner singled to lead off the game. Bill Hood singled home one run and another scored on Wilks' single for a 2-0 SSHS lead.

Ladarius Harrison singled and scored in the second, then the Wildcats plated eight runs in the third. Rhoades, Wilks, North, Harris and Diamond all singled and scored, while Chris Thompson had an RBI double.

In the fourth, the Wildcats added a pair of runs by Kevin Mabe and Harrison, who both reached on errors.

Diamond ended the game going 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Abner, Hood, Wilks, Thompson and Harrison each had two hits.

Mabe picked up the win, pitching a one-hitter over five innings with no walks. He struck out five.

SSHS 12, Bryan Adams 2

The game started badly for the Wildcats as Bryan Adams put up a pair of runs in the first inning and the score stayed 2-0 until the bottom of the third.

That's when the Wildcats scored four runs to take the lead. They eight more in the fifth to end the game.

Clean-up hitter Colby Strain knocked a two-run opposite field home run and had a bases-loaded walk to end the game with three RBI.

"Colby Strain hits an opposite field home run, which is really his strength," Hammack said. "He had just gotten off of his timing a little bit."

Diamond had three hits and Jeff Beck came up with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Josh Dunn also had two hits and two RBI, and Thompson knocked in a pair of runs with a fifth-inning double.

Rhoades also hit a pair of doubles and scored twice.

Brandon Whittle picked up the win by giving up four hits in four innings. he struck out two and walked two. Beck came on for the final inning of relief and did not allow a baserunner.

Hammack was pleased with the way all of his pitchers threw. With District 11-4A play starting a week from Friday, the Wildcats will likely use Diamond and Mabe as the two starters.

Sulphur Springs will have four games this week during spring break, starting tomorrow against Gladewater. They will host the Bears with a 1 p.m. start.

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