Four Wildcats have multi-hit games as they hammer the Tigers

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

April 13, 2008 - MOUNT PLEASANT - In their rematch with the Mount Pleasant Tigers Friday night, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats pounded out 15 hits off four Tigers pitchers in a 15-3 victory at O.L. Colley Field.

"This is a rivalry game and these guys do not want to lose to them," said SSHS coach Jerrod Hammack. "They remembered last year when we came into this game 4-1 and they beat us at home. We thought that game was a fluke, and we were wanting to show that it was. I think we showed that with our performance tonight."

With the win, SSHS improves to 11-8 on the year and 5-1 in District 11-4A, while Mount Pleasant drops to 5-15 and 1-5 in district.

Hammack said he was pleased with the team's offensive output except for in the middle innings of the game.

"We went back to the first part of district where we get four in the first and three in the second, so we gave ourselves a lead," Hammack said "I was a little disappointed in the third, fourth and fifth innings where we stalled out offensively.

"We then came back and had a big eight-run inning there in the sixth and were really pouring it on. We were able to get some guys off the bench to swing the bats and that is always important to do."

Four SSHS players had multi-hit games led by junior centerfielder Jace Jackson, who went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and five RBI, while senior shortstop Jeff Beck went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Josh Dunn went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored, while Ben Barrows went 2-for-4 with a two-run triple and one run scored.

"You always expect that out of your No. 1 (Beck) and 4 hole (Jackson) hitters," the coach said. "One person who I would not mind mentioning was Josh Dunn - who had two sharply hit balls and went 3-for-4 tonight. It could not happen to a better kid, and he needed to get something going. He had been struggling at the plate and still has been a great leader for this team.

Beck led off the game with a double to the right field gap on the second pitch from MP starter Matt Casteel. On the next at-bat, Dalton Abner smacked an RBI double of his own to give SSHS a 1-0 lead.

SSHS put together back-to-back RBI singles from Brittan Diamond and Jackson off Casteel, who was pulled after four batters with SSHS leading 3-0. After a single by Dunn and runners on the corners, the Wildcats pulled off a double steal as Jackson came into score for the 4-0 lead.

Sulphur Springs scored three more runs in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly by Diamond scoring Brandon Whittle and a two-run single by Jackson.

MPHS scored one run in the bottom of the inning as Joel Whitaker scored on Dunn's throw to first on a passed ball for the 7-1 deficit.

Sulphur Springs blew the game open in the top of the sixth sending 13 batters to the plate while scoring eight runs on five hits. Jackson and Barrows had two RBI along with an RBI each from Dunn and Dustin Gant.

The highlight play of the sixth inning came from Barrows, who smacked a triple off reliever Joel Whitaker to deep right center field, scoring Gant and Kevin Mabe for the 14-1 lead.

"Ben has unbelievable speed and I was actually trying to hold him up on the play," the coach said. The ball was coming into the shortstop, which he had it but dropped it, which allowed him to keep coming."

MPHS sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth scoring two runs off Mabe for a 15-3 deficit.

Mabe had a one-hitter going through five innings, but ended up allowing four-hits in 5 1/3 innings with three walks and seven strikeouts. Abner came on in relief with the bases loaded and struck out one batter in 2/3 innings of work.

"It was a great job by Kevin tonight," the coach said. "When he came back out (in the sixth), he was not able to find the strike zone, so Abner was able to come in and shut them down."

SSHS returns to Eagle Stadium Tuesday night for their third and final meeting with the Lindale Eagles. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

"I like our chances when you have Brittan Diamond on the mound. It is a home game and a situation where we are trying to take that next step to get back to T-High," the coach said. "We know if we want to win a district championship we have got to stay with them and win the next two ballgames. This is a big game for us, and they (Lindale) are fighting for third place so we could separate ourselves from them with a win."

Junior Varsity

SSHS 8, Mt. Pleasant 1

Coach Kurt McCain's Wildcats remained undefeated Friday night beating Mount Pleasant 8-1 at O.L. Colley Field. With the win, Sulphur Springs is now 15-0 overall and 6-0 in District 11-4A.

Starting pitcher Jake Dougan went the distance, striking out 13 and allowing just one hit while walking four batters.

The Cats scored two unearned runs in the third inning. Then in the top of the fifth, Grayson North lead off with a base hit and was followed by a triple from Conner Brackhahn.

The Wildcats took a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning when they scored four more runs on hits by Jordan Peoples, Kade Wimberly, Shane McQueen and Colby Suggs.

The Wildcats travel to Lindale Monday for a 6 p.m. first pitch.

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