Wildcat offense explodes

Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Home run hero The Cassville WildcatsÔ•Ö baseball team gathers at home plate to congratulate Ryan Rowley on his two-run homer during last weekÔ•Ös home game against East Newton. The junior went three-from-three from the plate against the Patriots and tallied three RBI. Photo by Robert Hoppie/Action Sports Photos (b)

Cassville had a rebounding week, picking up two Big 8 Conference wins. The Wildcats outscored their opponents 31-3 this week in what could be described as an offensive explosion.

In their first game, the Wildcats hosted East Newton (2-13, 0-3). Cassville opened things up quickly with five quick runs in the first. Ryan Rowley helped get the scoring started with a two-run home-run, his second of the year. From there the flood gates opened as Cassville scored 17 more total runs before the fifth inning. After five innings, the game was called due to the 10-run rule and the Wildcats won 22-0.

Jake Nolan pitched in the game and did well. He threw all five innings, giving up three hits and a walk while striking out three to earn his second victory of the year.

'─˙Offensively, we broke out of our batting slump,'─¨ said Coach Hemphill. '─˙We needed a game like this for our confidence.'─¨

The Wildcats'─˘ offense was electric in the contest. The home team had 20 total hits in the game. Rowley went three-for-three on the day with a home run and three RBI.

Sophomore Ryan Pace got his first varsity hit in the game, and it was a big one. Pace hit a grand-slam to give him his first home-run of the year in only his second varsity at-bat.

Other hitters for Cassville included: Tim Orrell 2, Aaron Jamieson 2, Michael Baker 2, Nolan, Jody Cavness, Danny Naugle, Aaron Brooks, Pat Maher and Vinee McCracken.

Cassville next faced Mt. Vernon (8-5, 2-2). Both teams were shutout through the first two innings, but the Wildcats pushed through in the third. Cassville accumulated six straight hits and scored five runs to take the 5-0 lead.

Cassville tacked another run on in the fourth, but the Mountaineers answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Jamieson took away any hope Mt. Vernon had of winning by hitting a two-run blast in the sixth inning to expand the lead and help Cassville to a 9-2 victory.

Kelby Haynes started on the mound for the Wildcats and was top notch. Haynes threw a complete game, giving up only two runs on six hits. The right-handed junior also struck out 10, upping his already team-leading mark.

'─˙We are starting to hit the ball from top to bottom in our line-up,'─¨ said Hemphill.

Jamieson led the way for the '─˛Cats, hitting two-for-four with a home run, a double and three RBI. Haynes as well as Kason Koelsch had two hits in the contest. Others who tallied hits for the Wildcats were Orrell, Rowley, Cory Howard, Andrew Gryder and Cavness.

The Wildcats'─˘ record now stands at 9-5 overall and 2-3 in the conference. Cassville will play in an inner-county match-up at Purdy (11-5) at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. The '─˛Cats then host Carthage at 4:30 p.m. on Friday for Senior Night.

Next week, Cassville will play in the Republic Tournament. On Monday, they play Monett (13-5) at 4 p.m, on Tuesday, they face Crane at 6 p.m., and Wednesday, they face their hosts, Republic (6-3), at 6 p.m.

Both the Purdy and Carthage contests should air on 95.9 KKBL, weather permitting.

Junior varsity play

The JV squad went 1-1 this week, beating East Newton but falling to the JV Mountaineers.

In the first contest, Cassville put David Lunsford on the mound.

'─˙David threw against East Newton and did a good job,'─¨ said Coach Kyle Wood. McCracken, William Alberson and Lunsford all helped out at the plate, and Cassville won 5-2.

In their second game, the young '─˛Cats threw Aaron Brooks. Despite not being able to throw his curve-ball, Brooks still threw well. However, the Wildcat offense could not help him out as the team lost 2-1.

Pace, James Alberson and Zac Brasher led the hitting attack against Mt. Vernon.

The junior varsity now moves to 6-5 on the season and will finish the season up this week against Carthage on Friday.

Ninth grade action

The freshmen baseball team had another tough week, losing both of their games. The youngest '─˛Cats got no hits against McDonald County and lost 10-1. Travis Northern scored Cassville'─˘s only run.

In the second contest, Cassville rallied from 8-2 but just fell short, losing 8-7.

Brett Houston was two-for-three from the plate with a double and two runs. Northern was one-for-three with one run scored and one stolen base. Taran Holt also had a good night with a two RBI triple.

Other notables on offense were: Ryan Henry, two sacrifices and one RBI; Ricky Vanderpool, one run and a stolen base; Colton Beck, one RBI; Hank Dorris, one run; and Bryan Schroeder, one run scored and one stolen base.

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