Wildcats brace for busy week

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Andrew Whitham throws a strike for the Wildcats during action this season. Cassville is preparing for three games this week. Chuck Nickle/Special to the Cassville Democrat

Team starting to gel, coach pleased with growth

Six games into the baseball season and the Wildcats are starting to show the growth and potential Coach Kyle Wood knew they possessed.

"When I tell people that I have 12 or 13 kids that cannot just play at the varsity level, but start there, I am not kidding," Wood said. "We continue to take steps forward, which is what I wanted to see. We are having measurable growth."

Matt Popanz tags out Purdy's Jose Sanchez as he tries to score during varsity action in the Cassville Tournament. The Eagles and Wildcats tangle again on Thursday. Chuck Nickle/Special to the Cassville Democrat

Senior Andrew Whitham, the squad's only senior, received high praise from his coach.

"Andrew is becoming a strong leader, which is tough to do when you are the only senior on a team," Wood said. "We have moved him around and even substituted for him in games, yet, he keeps a positive attitude and keeps the boys in the dugout focused on doing their jobs."

Wood noted that Whitham's attitude has been typical for his Wildcats this season.

"Our guys are playing together as a unit," Wood said. "In order for us to have success this season, it must continue."

The Wildcats host Purdy on Thursday and travel to Reeds Spring on Friday.

"I think we have good chance to pick up a couple of wins," Wood said. "After only getting in one game last week, we need to get some more innings under our belt."

The schedule only gets tougher for the Wildcats going forward, a schedule Wood hopes his team is ready to face.

"I want to continue to see us just compete," Wood said. "I want to see us be tough outs at the plate and hit the ball hard and in the field. I want us to be solid defenders."

The Wildcats have eight batters hitting over .308 this season. Alex Vanderpool leads the way hitting .471 with 10 RBI. Alex Dyer and Noah Hadlow share the team lead with 11 runs scored each.

First pitch with Purdy is set for 5 p.m.

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