Wildcats compete at Republic tournament

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Cassville Wildcat baseball team had a win and a loss in the Republic Tournament this past week, ending an impressive 12-game winning streak.

Cassville's loss to Republic was only the second of the season. The Tigers, who are the first seed in this week's district tournament, were able to overpower the Wildcats 11-1 in five innings.

Senior Michael Baker suffered his first loss of the season. Juniors Jake Nolan and Aaron Brooks pitched in relief. The Wildcats committed three errors defensively, which gave Republic room to run away for the win.

Cassville collected six hits in the contest with Jody Cavness, Aaron Jamieson, Danny Naugle, Vinee McCracken, Baker and Nolan all tallying one hit each.

"When you play a team like Republic, you need to bring your A game," said Coach Rod Hemphill. "If we see these guys again, we will need to play better."

The Wildcats rallied in their second tournament game to defeat the Crane Pirates 11-6.

Cassville led 4-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning and then Crane answered with three runs to make the score 4-3. Senior Kelby Haynes hit his pitch count and was relieved by Brooks.

Going into the seventh inning, the Wildcats were able to increase their lead to 6-3. Crane then was able to load the bases with two outs. Because Brooks had pitched quite a bit during the last three games, Nolan was brought in to relieve Brooks.

Two batters were walked, which put the score at 6-5, and Baker was brought in to try to salvage the inning. He walked his first batter to tie the score at 6-6 but then retired the next batter with a fly out to centerfield.

"I told the team to relax in the eighth inning," said Coach Hemphill.

The team followed their coach's advice and were able to add five runs in the eighth inning and claim an 11-6 victory over the Pirates.

"The team responded and looked like the team that won the Big 8 Conference," said Hemphill.

Baker earned the win on the mound to give him five wins on the season.

The Wildcats were led at the plate by Cavness who went two-for-three with two RBI and four runs scored.

Others who recorded hits were: Haynes, two hits (2B) and one RBI; Jamieson, two runs scored and four RBI; Baker, two hits, three RBI; Nolan, two hits; Cody Pierson, a triple and one RBI; McCracken, two hits; Travis Northern, one hit and one RBI; and Brooks and Andrew Gryder, one hit each.

"It was good to get out of there with a win," said Coach Hemphill.

The Wildcats opened districts on Monday against Reeds Spring. Results will be reported next week.

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