Cassville spurred on by tourney victory

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Cassville senior Ty Craig swipes a base during a Saturday doubleheader with Neosho and McDonald County. Chuck Nickle/Special to the Cassville Democrat

Wildcats diamond effort pleases coach

The Cassville Wildcats baseball team was supposed to have a bit of a rebuilding season, but no one told the Wildcats players.

The Wildcats (5-4) won the Cassville Classic, defeating Seneca, Galena and Purdy, then splitting a doubleheader on Saturday, defeating McDonald County, 6-5, and falling to Neosho, 4-3.

This week, the Wildcats face a tough schedule with games slated against Springfield Catholic (postponed), Republic (details not available at press time) and at home against Reeds Spring on Friday.

"You find out a lot about your players and teams when you play tough opponents," said Kyle Wood, Cassville coach. "I have been pleased with our effort and energy, especially our approach at the plate. Our kids are competing in practice and that is bleeding over into our games."

Through nine game this season, the Wildcats are hitting .349 (90 for 258) with 46 RBI and 42 walks.

"I thought we might be a little sluggish offensively this season, but we continue to hit the ball well," Wood said. "Our fielding has been solid and our pitching staff is coming together."

Marcus Weatherman, Alex Dyer and Noah Hadlow earned the victories for Cassville during their Classic Tourney starts.

Andrew Whitham dives for a sharply hit ball during action on Saturday. Chuck Nickle/Special to the Cassville Democrat

On the season, Wildcat pitchers have a combined 2.82 ERA. In 57 innings, they have allowed 23 earned runs and collected 52 strikeouts.

Wood said his team's record is deceiving, and his approach is more fine-tuning than hiding weaknesses.

"I don't feel like we have any area [on the team] where we have to game plan around or hide," Wood said. "It is more about getting some guys more playing or practice time. They are all working hard."

As proof, Cassville dropped a hard fought 4-3 decision to Neosho on Saturday, and then turned around and held off McDonald County, 6-5.

"We played 14 tough innings of baseball on Saturday," Wood said. "Both games could have gone either way. After losing to Neosho, our guys could have cracked and given up. Instead, we battled back and ground out a win."

First pitch on Friday against Reeds Spring is set for 5 p.m.

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