Baseball Wildcats still searching for winning formula

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
In a hurry Chuck Nickle Photography Cassville's Brady Blisard beats the throw to first base during the Wildcats' tilt with Hollister on April 12.

It seems that for each step forward that the Cassville Wildcats baseball team has taken, two steps back quickly followed.

The Wildcats (5-9, 1-1) began the season red hot winning four of their first five contests but have since only won once in nine tries.

Cassville, despite the skid, remains positive and focused.

Go foul, go foul, go foul. Chuck Nickle Photography Cassville's Marcus Weatherman, Andrew Whitham and Gabe Kirk, pictured from left, eagerly watch, wait and hope a ball rolls foul down the first base line during their game against Hollister.

The black and gold dropped a gut-wrenching 2-1 decision at Lamar on April 9 but rebounded to hand Carl Junction an 8-5 defeat on April 11. On April 12, the Wildcats fell 11-10 to Hollister and fell 12-0 to McDonald County on April 15.

Lamar

Against the Tigers, Cassville fell behind 1-0 and came back to tie the contest 1-1 in the top of the sixth.

Ty Craig singled with one out, and Gabe Kirk reached on an error.With two outs, Marcus Weatherman delivered a clutch single to score Craig.However, that run would be the only offensive highlight for the Wildcats. Cassville only managed four hits.

Craig collected two singles in three at-bats. Brady Blisard, who singled to open the third inning, was the only other hit.

Noah Hadlow went the distance on the mound for Cassville. He allowed three hits, one earned run and struck out one.

Carl Junction

The Wildcats earned their first Big 8 Conference win of the season with an 8-5 victory over Carl Junction.

Both teams traded runs in the first inning before the Bulldogs took a 4-1 lead in the fifth with a pair of runs combined in the second with a tally in the third.

In desperate need of something positive, the Wildcats awoke from the haze and scored four times to take a 5-4 lead.

Gabe Kirk and Chase Jackson began the home half of the fifth with singles. Blisard singled to score Gabe Kirk followed by a single by Cole Beagle to plate Jackson.

Garrett Kirk continued the Wildcats' hit parade to load the bases with no outs.

A walk by Hadlow scored Blisard to tie the game 4-4. Craig, the next batter, hit a sacrifice fly to give Cassville a 5-4 lead.

The Wildcats swelled their advantage in the sixth frame with three more runs.

A two-out triple by Garrett Kirk scored Jackson and Blisard to highlight the innings.

Garrett Kirk was a perfect four for four at the plate with a double, triple and two RBIs.

Gabe Kirk, Jackson and Blisard each scored two runs.Craig added two RBIs on one hit.

Weatherman earned the win. He pitched seven innings and allowed five hits, three earned runs and stuck out eight.

Hollister

Offense wasn't an issue for Cassville, as the Wildcats collected 16 hits against Hollister in an 11-10 defeat.

A shaky Wildcats' defense committed seven errors and allowed Hollister to score five times in the sixth inning.

Cassville plated three runs in the first, one run in the second and two runs in the third and fourth innings to build a 8-4 lead.

Hollister countered with one in the first, three runs in the third, two in the fifth and five tallies in the sixth frame to take an 11-8 advantage.

The Wildcats fought back with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh but couldn't get the needed third run to tie the score.

Garrett Kirk and Weatherman had three hits apiece. Weatherman also had two RBIs and scored three runs.

Hadlow, Gabe Kirk and Blisard each collected two hits. Hadlow had a double and one RBI and scored a run.

McDonald County

Cassville had no answer for McDonald County's offense and fell 12-0 to the Mustangs.

The Wildcats only managed three base runners and two hits in the game. Jackson and Hadlow singled, and Gabe Kirk was hit by a pitch.

McDonald County scored a single run in the first then erupted for six tallies in the third and five runs in the fifth.

Cassville will be in action at home on April 18 against Seneca. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.

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