The Cassville baseball squad continued their winning ways in two non-conference games this week. The Wildcats took on Blue Eye (3-1) last Monday, April 2 and McDonald County (2-4) on Thursday, April 5.
The Wildcats began their first game on a tear. In the first three innings Cassville jumped out to a big lead, scoring eight runs to Blue Eye's three. However, the 'Cats bats then became ice cold as they never again saw the plate.
Blue Eye made a run on the home team, scoring three more and trailing 6-8 heading into the seventh inning, but Cassville's ace pitcher Kelby Haynes ensured the victory, blanking the Bulldogs and earning the save. Jake Nolan who relieved starter Michael Baker picked up the win.
Haynes and Aaron Jamieson led the way offensively for the Wildcats. Haynes had a two-RBI double in the game. Jamieson went two-for-three at the plate, also hit a double and knocked in one run. Jody Cavness also had a hit and two RBI. Others who got a hit were: Cory Howard, who had a double, Tim Orrell and Baker.
Baker got the start on the mound and went three innings giving up three runs. Nolan then came in relief and also pitched three innings while allowing three runs and also picked up his first win of the year. Haynes pitched the last inning and picked up his and Cassville's first save of the year.
"We scored early, but we failed to put them away and almost got beat," said Coach Rod Hemphill.
In their second game, the Wildcats played host yet again, entertaining the McDonald County Mustangs. Weather was a huge factor in the game. With a good 20-mile-per-hour wind blowing into the stadium and a few snowflakes falling from the sky, the Wildcats attempted to get what would be their sixth win in a row.
Cassville fell behind in the first inning, giving up a run to the visitors. The Wildcats rallied in the second and third innings and heading into the fourth led 4-3. The scoring did not end there though as both teams scored three in the last four innings, the winning run coming in on a wild pitch from the Mustangs' pitcher in the sixth. Cassville won by a score of 8-7.
Howard led the team in hitting, ending up two-for-three at the dish with one double, two runs and one RBI. Haynes also helped his cause getting a hit for a double. Orrell, Ryan Rowley, Baker and Cavness also had a hit in the game.
Haynes had some trouble early in the game but came on strong late and won his second game of the year. He pitched his first complete game of the year going all seven innings. He gave up three earned runs, seven hits and worked around three walks, but also picked up seven strikeouts.
Despite the wins Coach Hemphill would still like to see improvement from his team.
"We are getting a few hits, but we are striking out way to much," Hemphill said.
The 'Cats get back in action this week with a home game against conference rival Carl Junction (4-3,0-0) on Thursday and away games at Blue Eye on Friday and at Monett (5-3,0-0) on Tuesday, April 17. The Wildcats are now 6-0 on the season.
Junior varsity play
The Cassville junior varsity continued its good play as well this week with wins against Blue Eye and McDonald County.
In the first game against Blue Eye, Ryan Pace and Aaron Brooks took care of the pitching and held the JV Bulldogs to only one run. Vinee McCracken led the way at the plate with two hits in the game as Cassville scored three.
Pace, Cody Pierson, David Lunsford and William Alberson also tallied hits for the Wildcats against Blue Eye.
In their second game, the Mustangs faced Aaron2 as both Brooks and Jamieson took the mound in the game. Together they only gave up three runs and helped Cassville to the 5-3 victory. Pierson, Chris Paul, Lunsford and Brooks all had good games for the Wildcats in the contest.
The JV team, coached by Kyle Wood, now moves to 4-0 on the season.