Wildcats brace for conference play

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Cassville senior Marcus Weatherman slaps the tag down on a Reeds Spring runner during varsity action on Friday. Chuck Nickle/Special to the Cassville Democrat

Cassville ready to roll with 4 games in 7 days

With four games in seven days, including the opening of conference play, the Cassville Wildcats are ready to play on the diamond.

The Wildcats opened conference action on Tuesday with Lamar, the results of which were posted after press time, and they travel to Carl Junction on Thursday.

"We're excited and ready," said Kyle Wood, Cassville coach. "I like it when our schedule packs on games and we just go play."

The Wildcats (5-6) were roughed up with a pair of setbacks last week, falling 3-0 to Republic and 10-8 to Reeds Spring.

"Against Republic, we played really well," Wood said. "The Tigers always have a good team with a good pitcher. We had one error that allowed a run to score and then they got the clutch hit that eluded us all night to score two more. I felt we played hard."

Wood's opinion of the Reeds Spring game was more pointed.

"We let one get away on Friday," Wood said. "We committed seven errors with six by the middle of our defense. We know we can't do that."

Wood pointed out that despite the errors, the Wolves only won by a 2-run margin.

"We played well in the other two facets of pitching and hitting," Wood said. "We have to do a better job fielding the ball."

Wood told his team that they have to get past this bump in the road and focus on conference play. He feels that they will put it behind them and focus on the future.

"Now that Big 8 play is here, we don't have time for any excuses and we can't afford to give games away," Wood said. "I think the boys responded well to the message, and I think we'll be ready to play."

Cassville senior Marcus Weatherman slaps the tag down on a Reeds Spring runner during varsity action on Friday. Chuck Nickle/Special to the Cassville Democrat

Wood said he was pleased with the leadership shown by his two seniors, Marcus Weatherman and Ty Craig.

"They are playing like seniors should," Wood said. "I know that I can count on them day in and day out."

Weatherman is hitting .459 (17 for 37) with 12 RBI. Craig has a .394 average with six doubles and 13 runs scored. Alex Dyer is also swinging a hot bat, hitting .412 (14 for 34) with six RBI.

As a team, the Wildcats are hitting .327 with 52 RBI.

Wood wasn't concerned with pitching over the next week. He feels his bullpen is strong enough to handle the stress.

The unit collectively has a 2.90 ERA, allowing 29 earned runs and striking out 68 in 70 innings.

First pitch on Thursday is slated for 5 p.m.

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