Wildcats get back to work in offseason

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Cassville's Leigh Cox prepares to tag East Newton's Zach Graham at the plate during district action on Saturday. Chad Hayworth Special to the Cassville Democrat

Cassville upset in district baseball opener, use loss as motivation

For six innings, the Cassville baseball team (15-10) looked to be headed to the semifinal round of the district baseball tournament.

The Wildcats held a 1-0 lead over East Newton, but surrendered three hits in the seventh inning and fell 2-1 on Saturday.

Alex Vanderpool collides with East Newton's Calvin Francisco while attempting to steal a base. Chad Hayworth Special to the Cassville Democrat

For Coach Jade Samborski, the season's ending was not how he envisioned it, but he told his team they would use that game and grow from the experience.

"I said going into that game that East Newton was a scrappy team," Samborski said. "They battled for 21 outs, we held them for just 18. I think our boys saw just how important having an approach to games, pitches and situations is."

This season, the Wildcats were bit by late inning

collapses.

"Against East Newton, we had chances to put runs on the board early in the game," Samborski said. "We failed to execute and then let the game be decided by a 50-50 play at the end. We had chances."

As the Wildcats turn their attention to the off season, pitching becomes the biggest concern and opportunity.

The Wildcats lose nearly their entire hurling staff and will return just 10 varsity innings of experience.

"We are wide open on the mound for next year," Samborski said. "This summer, guys are going to have plenty of opportunities to show me how they can impact our pitching staff."

Cassville will also place importance on getting strong both physically and fundamentally before the fall workouts.

"Our main goal never changes -- get better each day," Samborski said. "We'll focus a little bit more on dealing with high-pressure situations, but I think we are headed in the right direction."

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