Wildcats lose to Longview, 16-6

From Staff Reports

Mar. 19, 2007 - LONGVIEW - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats have been running hot and cold lately, and Saturday they were unfortunately cold.

The Wildcats gave up 11 runs in the first inning to the Longview Lobos on their way to a 16-6 loss.

It came on the heels of a solid 4-3 win over Bullard on Friday, which was preceded by an uninspired loss to Gladewater right after the Wildcats had played well in the Ennis tournament the previous weekend.

The inconsistency is definitely not what head coach Jerrod Hammack is looking for, especially with Tuesday's game at Edgewood the final non-district contest.

"They're no excuse for the way we've been off-and-on, hot-and-cold," Hammack said. "We've just got to put it togther. We can't take a day off in district like we've been doing. It'll be hard to make the playoffs doing that.

"So, we've got to be more consistent in our play. We're really good when we play well. We're just not so good when we make mistakes."

The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Saturday, but things went poorly after that.

SSHS junior Brittan Diamond singled to lead off the game, then Dalton Abner reached on an outfield error. They both scored on ground balls by Tyler Rhoades and Colby Strain.

But, the Wildcats made three errors in the first inning and failed to make another couple of plays in the field. Combined with eight Longview hits in the inning, the Lobos scored 11 runs against starter Brandon Whittle.

"For whatever reason, we just didn't show up at Longview," Hammack said. "We had a lot of mistakes. They mixed in some hits, but mostly it was our mistakes - walks, three or four errors in the first inning.

"We had to play catch-up the rest of the game, but we gave up too much in that first inning."

The Wildcats struck for three runs in the fourth inning as Rhoades walked, Strain singled and Clay Wilks plated one run with a groundout. Josh Dunn then cracked an RBI single to left and Bill Hood followed with a run-scoring double. Dunn finished with two hits, a run scored and an RBI.

In the fifth, Rhoades singled with two outs and scored on Wilks' single to right.

Jeff Beck came on in relief in the first inning and ended up throwing four innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out five.

Tomorrow, the Wildcats will go with their normal rotation of Kevin Mabe as starter, setting up Diamond to pitch the 11-4A opener on Friday against Mount Pleasant.

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