Wildcats continue winning streak

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Rounding second Senior Cody Pierson collides with the Carl Junction second baseman as he rounds second base after a hit by Aaron Jamieson. Action Sports Photos/Robert Hoppie

This season has been spectacular for the baseball Wildcats who are currently undefeated. Last week was no exception, as the Wildcats landed a trio of victories despite having to deal with rainy weather once again.

Lamar was supposed to be the site for a contest between the Tigers and Wildcats in what would be their first conference match; however, the rains created poor playing conditions, and as a result, it was decided that the coaches and players would prepare Wildcat field for the game instead.

From the start of the contest, the Wildcats were able to establish control of the tempo, gaining four runs within the first inning.

After that, Cassville went on to accumulate an overwhelming lead as they plowed ahead with five more runs in the second inning, five more in the fourth inning and another four to seize the victory at 18-6.

"The wind was blowing out, and we took advantage of that, scoring 15 hits, 10 of which were extra base hits," said Head Coach Rod Hemphill. "We had four doubles, three triples and three home-runs on the day."

Travis Northern contributed three hits and three RBI, plus a homer, and Aaron Brooks tallied three hits as well, two of which were triples.

Ricky Vanderpool and Trevor Tanner had nearly identical performances with two hits, three RBIs and one home run for each player during the day.

It was another excellent day for Jake Nolan in the batter's box, as he finished the game with a total of two hits, four runs scored and two RBIs.

Other Wildcats who got hits for the game were Aaron Jamieson, who had one hit, four runs scored and three RBIs, and with Kyle Rhea and Josh Dyer who added one hit each.

"It was the best we have hit all year. We did a good job of staying back and driving the ball," said Coach Hemphill.

The Wildcats were also able to succeed on the mound against Lamar with Travis Northern pitching the entire game to claim his second win after giving up a total of six runs for the day, three of which were earned runs, with three walks and six strike-outs in all.

Coach Hemphill spoke proudly of his team and their accomplishments, saying, "It was nice to get that first conference win."

Last Thursday would mark the second conference duel for the Wildcats as they hosted Carl Junction.

The Bulldogs were a tough team that hoped to dash the Wildcats' winning streak, but once again, Cassville struck with ferocity. Cassville posted runs with lightening speed as they scored twice in the first inning before going on to round the bases seven times in the third inning and eventually finish with a 9-6 victory over a Carl Junction ball club that struggled to gain ground throughout the first half of the game.

"We played extremely well for the first four innings," commented Coach Hemphill.

Nonetheless, the Bulldogs did their best to make a hard night for Nolan, who earned his second win of the season after battling it out with his guests for over six innings before being relieved after giving up three runs.

Pitching Coach Kyle Wood replaced Nolan with Aaron Brooks, who had a short stay after walking three batters, which left the burden to rest on Kyle Rhea's shoulders as he stepped up to the mound and earned the last two outs and shut down the Bulldogs' drive.

While the pitchers were facing trying times, the outfield was working hard to brace the team with outstanding plays such as the edge-of-your-seat seventh inning catch by Cody Pierson, who snagged a ball with bases loaded to halt Carl Junction's momentum and reel in the final out of the game.

"Carl Junction took advantage of our miscues in the fifth inning and scored three runs, before going on to score three more in the seventh inning. Our outfielders really played well. It was a big win that will keep us going in conference play," said Coach Hemphill.

The Wildcats went on to finish up the week with a game at Hollister against the Tigers.

Like clockwork, leadoff man Brooks came through with a double and Pierson singled in the first inning to initiate another wave of runs for Cassville.

Jamieson was on fire as he not only laid down a double to bring Brooks and Pierson home in the first but also hammered out a three-run homer in the second inning.

As if that weren't enough, Jamieson later went on to smash out a two-run homer following a Vinee McCracken double and another single from Pierson to bring Jamieson up to six RBIs for the night.

Brooks took the honors on the mound in this match-up, giving away only three hits while walking a total of three batters and striking out eight.

"Coach Wood and Brooks were on the same page all day long," said Coach Hemphill.

Brooks was finally relieved in the seventh inning as Coach Wood called Rhea in from the bullpen to sew up the Wildcat's 10-2 victory.

"We had a good week this week, but we need to finish games on a stronger note," said Coach Hemphill.

JV Action

The JV Cats performed well last week, winning two out of three games in all.

Rhea pitched a good game against Lamar with Bo Blisard coming in to relief pitch for a 6-0 victory over the Tigers as Dyer, Mason Wilks, D.J. Craig and Bobby Joe Hartin all delivered crucial plays for the team.

The JV Bulldogs of Carl Junction, however, brought with them a solid game that proved to be too much for the Wildcats as they were handed their first loss of the year as Cassville struggled to cross the plate despite a great game from Evan Stubblefield, who not only pitched well, but also shared the leading stats from the plate, alongside Dyer and Hartin.

While the Bulldogs may have brought disappointment, the Hollister Tigers found themselves having the misfortune of catching Cassville on the rebound, however, as the JV Cats went on to best their hosts with a 14-1 finale.

The game against Crane was cancelled and has not been re-scheduled at this time. The Wildcats are slated to face McDonald County on April 20 and will be heading to Monett for a game on April 21 before hosting Seneca on April 23.

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