Wildcats open with a win
The Wildcats baseball team opened the season with a 9-0 victory over Southwest.
This season began with a hometown tournament hosted by the Wildcats, which featured a contest between the Wildcats and the Southwest Trojans. When the game ended, the Wildcats had outplayed the Trojans to finish with the 9-0 advantage.
While the Wildcats were slow to start, they soon had a lead early on in the game when they put up single points in both the second and third innings. The fourth inning proved to be the most devastating for the Trojans after falling prey to a four-point scoring assault as the Wildcats stretched their lead to 6-0.
It would not be until the sixth inning that Cassville would once again round the bases to deliver a two-run extension to the ever-widening distance between them and their guests. The final run was came in the seventh inning for the Wildcats who were successful at defending their lead for the rest of the match.
"We pitched well and played flawless defense, and our hitting came around late in the game," commented Head Coach Rod Hemphill.
Aaron Brooks came through for the Wildcats, going five innings on the mound with an accumulation of eight strike-outs, two balls and two hits, both of which were singles.
"Aaron did a good job of throwing strikes and getting ahead of the hitters," said Coach Hemphill.
Travis Northern came in for the last two innings to sew up the game for Cassville, tallying strikeouts and walking four batters.
"Kyle Wood, the pitching coach, had his pitchers ready to go," said Coach Hemphill.
Brooks was also a leader at the plate this week, producing a trio of consecutive doubles, which also led to an accumulation of two runs in addition to having one RBI for the night.
Ricky Vanderpool also performed well, going two-for-four while producing three RBIs and scoring one run.
Cody Pierson had one hit and an outstanding three RBIs for the evening.
Others contributing were: Aaron Jamieson, who was credited with one hit, one RBI, and one run scored in the game; David Lunsford, who had one hit on the night, which landed him an RBI; Trevor Tanner, who was also able to come away with one hit for the evening; Taran Holt, who had a double, and made his way in to score two runs for the Wildcats; and Jake Nolan, who produced one hit for the night.
"We did a better job of staying back and hitting the opposite way toward the end of the game. It was good to get out and finally play a game," said Coach Hemphill.
The JV Wildcats played at Sarcoxie last week, going 1-2 in varsity tournament play.
The Cassville squad was able to defeat Sarcoxie by a score of 14-1 in their first game as Lunsford pitched for over three innings to pick up the win. Kyle Rhea relieved Lunsford and sewed it up for the Wildcats.
While the first inning saw the Wildcats scoring a run, the third and fourth innings were by far the most successful for Cassville. The Wildcats scored six runs in the third and a total of seven runs in the fourth inning.
Freshman Trey Rose was the leading hitter for the night, tallying two hits in all, while Andrew Cole pulled off a double, Evan Stubblefield managed two hits, Rhea made contact for two hits, Mike Nolan contributed one hit, and Josh Dyer had one hit.
The next two games were not so easily played for Cassville, as they took back-to-back losses, falling to College Heights 8-7, and then to Pierce City, 15-1.
"Even though we were playing varsity teams, this still should help our younger players," said Coach Hemphill.