Gritty play leads to hot conference start

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Cassville's Alex Dyer slides into second base safely during the Wildcats' win over East Newton last week. Chuck Nickle Special to the Cassville Democrat

Cassville looking to remain perfect in Big 8 play

With three games this week in Big 8 Conference play, Cassville's baseball team still controls its own destiny in conference play.

Last week, Cassville won two of its three contests, defeating Carl Junction, 4-3, and East Newton, 3-0, which left them a perfect 2-0 in conference action.

Cassville Coach Kyle Wood huddles his infield around him as he gives some instruction during varsity action last week. Chuck Nickle Special to the Cassville Democrat

"I was very proud of the way we battled in those two games," said Kyle Wood, Cassville coach. "We weren't flashy, just ground out a pair of wins."

Grit and determination were two qualities Wood was hoping his team would develop as the season went along.

"When games get close and down to the wire, you need your team to pull through and come together," Wood said. "We have a lot of guys that can help this team and it is encouraging to

see them raise their level of play during tight games."

Against the Bulldogs, the Wildcats found themselves in a 2-0 hole after two innings. Cassville used five Carl Junction errors to score four runs over the next three innings to take a 4-2 lead. The team held on to win, despite being outhit 10-4.

Noah Hadlow, Leigh Cox and Andrew Whitham all collected one RBI apiece.

Hadlow earned the victory. He threw six-and-one-third innings, allowed 2 earned runs and struck out two.

The Wildcats followed that win with a 3-0 victory over East Newton behind Alex Vanderpool's pitching gem.

Vanderpool surrendered just two hits in seven innings of work and struck out seven and walked zero.

"Alex did just a tremendous job in that game," Wood said. "He is one of those athletes that you can see the hard work really paying off."

The Wildcats travel to Mt. Vernon on Thursday. The game serves as a harbinger for all that the Wildcats want to achieve this season.

"Mt. Vernon is a salty team that doesn't beat themselves," Wood said. "We have an opportunity to show how special we can be. We look forward to these chances to see how we measure up."

First pitch is set for 5 p.m.

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