Cassville baseball focused on its defense

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Cassville senior Ty Craig prepares to zip a throw to sophomore first baseman Alex Vanderpool for an out during the Wildcats' game at Carl Junction last Thursday. Chuck Nickle/Special to the Cassville Democrat

Errors loom large during Wildcats' recent setbacks

A busy week of baseball may be just what the doctor ordered, or could be the undoing of the Cassville Wildcats baseball team.

Cassville (5-8) had dropped four consecutive game as of Monday, and the Wildcats began a three-games-in-three-days stretch on Tuesday with Monett, facing McDonald County on Wednesday and traveling to Seneca on Thursday. Results for the first two contests were not available at press time.

Cassville Coach Kyle Wood put his diplomatic skills to work on April 17, as he discussed a pickoff play with home plate umpire Dereck Price and base umpire Ritchie Fretwell. Despite Wood's best effort, the call on the field stood. Chuck Nickle/Special to the Cassville Democrat

Pitching, hitting and defense are the fundamental keys to the game, and according to Wildcats' coach Kyle Wood, his team is doing two of three very well.

"I can't fault our effort at the plate, and our starting pitching has been tremendous," Wood said. "Our defense has left something to be desired."

Coming into this week, Cassville was hitting .312 as a team with 24 extra base hits. The pitching staff had a cumulative ERA of 3.12. They have allowed 67 runs, but only 37 have been earned.

On the season, the black and gold has committed 31 errors, with 14 coming in the last four games.

"You just want your players to go out and play the game without thinking about it," Wood said. "Instead, we have guys thinking about not making mistakes and obsessing and then second guessing until we start to unravel."

With the stacked schedule due to recent inclement weather, Wood knows his team is capable of overcoming the lapses.

"We have smart kids who know how to play the game," Wood said. "It truly is as simple as forgetting about the past and focusing on the next play. I feel like we'll come around."

Alex Dyer and Marcus Weatherman are leading in hitting for the Wildcats. Weatherman is hitting .429 (18 for 42) with 15 RBI. Dyer is batting .400 (16 for 40) with five doubles.

First pitch in Seneca on Friday is set for 5 p.m.

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