Wildcats see opportunities on diamond

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Alex Dyer steals a base for the Wildcats in their win over El Dorado Springs on Saturday. Dyer set a school record in the game with five runs scored. Chuck Nickle Special to the Cassville Democrat

Hadlow sets record with 5 runs as Cassville opens play

It was a mixed bag of results for the Cassville baseball team as it opened the season on Saturday with Pea Ridge, Ark., and El Dorado Springs.

The Wildcats lost to the visitors from out of state, 5-4, but rebounded to defeat El Dorado Springs, 18-7.

Andrew Whitham applies the tag to record an out for the Wildcats during baseball action on Saturday. Chuck Nickle Special to the Cassville Democrat

Cassville Coach Kyle Wood saw several things that were encouraging and frustrating.

"We still need to work on fine-tuning our fundamentals," Wood said. "We made some silly mistakes that cost us, but we also did some things that were very encouraging."

One of the team's biggest positives is its depth.

Wood said the Wildcats had not settled on a starting nine because the competition for the spots had been fierce.

"For a coach, that is a good problem to have," Wood said. "It forces the guys in the game to be sharp, but it also keeps those guys that are in the wings playing hard and staying ready for when their name is called to go contribute."

Saturday marked the second time Wildcat hitters had taken live pitches from home plate this spring. Wood noted that a majority of the issues the team had should improve with more reps and games.

"I think a majority of the coaches will say that the first few games of the season are about working out the kinks," Wood said. "I would like to see our pitchers throw more strikes and our batters be more patient at the plate."

Alex Vanderpool's performance Saturday was one that stood out in the

coach's mind.

Vanderpool had four hits and seven RBI in the two games. Noah Hadlow set a school record with five runs scored in a single contest.

"Noah walked his first four at-bats and then ripped a double to reach base five times," Wood said. "The guys behind him did a good job getting him. Both Alex and Noah had good days."

The Wildcats host Seneca on Thursday in a non-conference game.

"Right now, I am just looking for improvement in our play," Wood said. "I want to see who is going to step up and take the starting roles on the field."

First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

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