Big first inning by Bullard sinks Wildcats

From Staff Reports

March 17, 2008 - BULLARD - In their rematch with the Bullard Panthers on Friday, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats' overall record dropped below the .500 mark with a 4-3 loss at Panthers Field.

The Wildcats (5-6) are currently on a four-game losing streak dating back to Feb. 28, when Sulphur Springs defeated Liberty-Eylau 5-3.

"Friday night was a situation where as a coach defensively you want to get out of the first inning with no runs," SSHS head coach Jerrod Hammack said. "I think we went up pretty easily in the top of the inning with three-up and three-down, and in the bottom half if was the perfect ingredients for a big inning.

"We had some walks, an error and then mix in a couple of hits and they jumped out on us 4-0 after the first inning. Brady (Harmon) then settled down and shut them down the rest of the way and looked sharp."

Harmon went the complete game, giving up four runs on six hits with five walks and two strikeouts for the Wildcats. He gave up three earned runs in 28 batters faced.

The Wildcats are scheduled to host the Mesquite Horn Jaguars at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Eagle Stadium, weather permitting. If the two teams are not able to play tomorrow, Hammack said they will look at a Wednesday game at Eagle Stadium. The Wildcats are also scheduled to host Longview on Thursday at Eagle Stadium.

"Wednesday is supposed to be OK provided we don't get a lot of rain Tuesday where the field in unplayable on Wednesday," Hammack said. "We need to play, and we have some positions that are up for grabs with position players and pitchers."

In the bottom of the first inning, the Panthers scored four runs off of Harmon as Moore reached base on a fielder's choice, Eudey was then hit by a pitch and Clarke loaded the bases with a single. Camp then cleared the bases with a double and Agnew drove in Camp for the 4-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Wildcats found a way to cut the lead in half as Harmon reached on an error, Ben Barrows then smacked a single to put runners on first and second with one out. On the next at-bat, Brandon Whittle drove in Harmon and senior Jeff Beck smacked a single off Bullard starter Jacob Whatley for the 4-2 deficit.

The Wildcats then scored their final run in the top of the sixth inning as Jace Jackson opened the inning with a double, followed by a wild pitch that sent him to third. Josh Dunn then drove in Jackson with a RBI grounder for the 4-3 deficit.

SSHS was led at the plate by Beck, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Jackson, Barrows and Whittle each recorded one hit.

"We chipped away late in the game and we started to make adjustments at the plate," the coach said. "We could not get that big hit to break the game open. We had our opportunities to break the game open, but didn't quite do it.

"I feel like we are progressing slowly, but we are headed in the right direction. We got this week and then we start district next week. The season that really matters for us is next week, and we are still working on our team chemistry right now."

Sulphur Springs 000 021 0 -3 5 2

Bullard 400 000 X - 4 6 1

Harmon and Dunn; Whatley and Langston. W: Whatley. L: Harmon. 2B - SS: Jackson. BHS: Anding, Camp, Agnew.

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