SS baseball team goes 3-1 in tournament

From Staff Reports

Feb. 25, 2008 - WILLS POINT - Sulphur Springs improved to 3-1 on the season with a strong finish at the Wills Point Tournament Friday and Saturday.

The Wildcats won their final two games, 9-1 over the Athens Hornets and 5-2 over the Wills Point Tigers.

"We got those wins and finished 3-1 for the tournament," said SSHS head coach Jerrod Hammack. "I thought we were the best team there and we should have won it, but it didn't work out that way."

SSHS will head back on the road tomorrow with a 4 p.m. game at Mount Vernon. The game was originally scheduled for 6 p.m., but Hammack said the Tigers' baseball field has no lights.

"Mount Vernon is a scrappy team," the coach said. "They have some twins that are really good players and they swing the bats well. We need to play our game and know that we are plenty good to win. We have to focus on what we do well and we will be fine."

Game 3

SSHS 9, Athens 1

In the nightcap of their Friday action, the Wildcats had a strong outing from pitcher Dalton Abner as the senior gave up one run on three hits to go along with five strikeouts and one walk.

"We played Athens Friday afternoon and they are typically a playoff team," Hammack said. "We knew it would be a good test and a good measure of how we would bounce back after a poor showing that morning. We definitely met that challenge and got a outstanding pitching performance from Dalton Abner."

The Wildcats also had a strong showing from senior third baseman Brittan Diamond, who went 4-for-4 with three RBI, four runs scored, a double and a home run to left field. Junior Jace Jackson went 2-for-4 with a double, triple, two RBI and one run scored, Josh Dunn went 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Jeff Beck was 2-for-4 with a double, one RBI and one run.

"Brittan was not swinging the bat like he was capable of until that game," the coach said. "I know that he was not pleased with it, and he came out of his slump and hit the ball hard during the game."

The Wildcats scored at least one run in five of the six innings against Athens and eight of the nine players had at least one hit.

In the first inning, Jackson drove in Diamond with an RBI double and then the Wildcats scored two more runs in the second inning. Ben Barrows led off the inning with a walk, and left fielder Jayden Wallace drove in Barrows with two outs. Beck then drove in Wallace with an RBI double for the 3-0 lead.

After Diamond's solo home run in the third inning, the Wildcats scored three runs in the fourth on a two-run double by Diamond and an RBI single by Dunn.

Game 4

SSHS 5, Wills Point 2

In their final game of the tournament, Wildcat junior hurler Kolton Jones gave up two runs on three hits, but allowed four walks and struck out three. Mason Rawson came into the game in the seventh and struck out two batters for the save.

"On Saturday, it was a win and that was about all you could say about that game," Hammack said. "We reverted back to the style of play that we showed on that Friday morning, and we didn't swing the bats well. We were down 2-0 the whole game, and Kolton Jones did a good job on the mound.We ended up scoring five runs in the top of the seventh and then Mason Rawson came in and closed out the game for us."

Wills Point led 2-0 after the first inning on an outfield error by the Wildcats.

The Wildcats had a hard time getting runners in until the fifth inning when they cut the lead to 2-1 on an single by Jones that scored Whittle from second base.

SSHS went three-up and three-down in the sixth before scoring four runs in the seventh inning to pull out the win. Jackson capped off the scoring with a two-run single scoring Abner and Beck .

The Wildcats were led at the plate by Diamond, who went 2-for-4 with a double, while Whittle went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Jones went 2-for-3 with an RBI and one run scored.

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