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4 Rivers Tournament Report
April 10, 2012Montgomery County High School
BASEBALL WILDCATS START 2012 SEASON
IN FOUR RIVERS TOURNAMENT
The Montgomery County R-2 Wildcats Baseball team started the 2012 season by playing four games in the Four Rivers Conference Tournament. On March 19 the Wildcats played and won their first game of the season by defeating St. Francis Borgia (from Washington, MO) by the score of 4-3. On March 21 they won their second game by defeating Owensville 11-1. On March 24 they lost to Pacific 12-1 in the Championship Semifinal game, and later that same day they lost to Rolla 7-6 in the Third Place game. The Wildcats finished fourth in the tournament and finished the week with a 2-2 record.
In the Borgia game the Wildcats came out quickly with the walks to their first three hitters, Colt Ellis, Dakota Smith, and Taylor Deves. Luther Harris drove in Ellis with a single to right field, then Smith scored on a wild pitch to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.
R-2 picked up another run in the top of the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. Smith led off the inning with a double off the center field wall, then was sacrificed to third base by Deves, and scored on another single to right by Harris.
Ellis was the starting pitcher for R-2 and kept Borgia in check for 3 innings with the help of some great defensive plays. Borgia did score its first run in the bottom of the third, but it could have been much worse. Borgia had five hits in the inning, but the Wildcats threw out runners at third base and home in the inning to maintain a 3-1 lead.
Cameron Parrish took over for Ellis in the fourth inning and kept Borgia’s hitters off balance for the remainder of the game. Borgia did score a run in the fifth inning with the help of a Wildcat throwing error and closed the score to 3-2.
The Wildcats picked up a much-needed insurance run in the top of the seventh inning, as Ellis led off the inning with a single and then scored on a hit by Deves that hit off the left centerfield fence giving the Wildcats a 4-2 lead. This set up an eventful bottom of the seventh inning and ending of the game.
R-2 got the first two Borgia batters out, which included a stellar diving play by Harris at shortstop. Later in the inning Borgia had a runner reach third base. The next Borgia batter hit a ground ball to the second baseman, who threw the ball errantly. However, first baseman Ryan Knipfel made a great catch to get the final out apparently end the game.
However, after both team’s players had left the field and the two JV teams had come onto the field and started warming up, the home plate umpire overruled the out call at first base (after a discussion with Borgia’s coach). In addition to calling the Borgia runner safe at first base, the umpire also allowed the runner at third base (actually the dugout) to score which made the score 4-3. R-2 Coach Don Moultrie protested the ruling, but to no avail.
With Parrish still pitching, the next Borgia hitter laced a line drive into right center field that looked to be a hit, but centerfielder Deves sprinted in and made a sensational diving catch to again end the game with a great Wildcat victory.
The first four batters in the Wildcat lineup inflicted all of the offensive damage, as they were 6-10 hitting, with 4 walks, 3 runs batted in (RBIs), 4 runs scored, 2 doubles, 0 strikeouts, and 2 sacrifices. The individual stats were as follows: Ellis 1 hit and 2 runs scored; Smith 1 hit and 2 runs scored; Deves 1 hit and 1 RBI; and Harris 3 hits and 2 RBI). Ellis earned the victory as the starting pitcher and Parrish picked up the save in relief.
As in the first game, the Wildcats scored first in the Owensville game in the bottom of the first inning. After walks to Smith and Deves, Harris singled to centerfield to score Smith and give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. R-2 scored 2 more runs in the second, as Nick Oden walked and then scored on a single by Ellis. Ellis later scored on an error to make the score 3-0.
Owensville scored a run in the top of the fourth inning on a pair of hits, but that was all that R-2’s starting pitcher, Jackson Bishop, would surrender for the game. R-2 tallied two more runs in the bottom of the third. Harris and Evan Milner each walked, then Harris scored on an error and Milner scored on a groundout by David Reagan to extend R-2’s lead to 5-1.
The Wildcats blew the game open in the fourth inning with 5 more runs to take a 10-1 lead. Deves and Harris each walked and Deves scored on an Owensville error on a groundball by Milner. Harris then scored on a wild pitch, and Oden singled to score Milner from second. Austin Killian and Ellis then walked to load the bases. Oden scored on an infield single by Smith and Killian scored on a walk to Deves to close out the inning.
The Wildcats closed out the scoring in the fifth inning, as Milner singled to center and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Chase Worsham. This gave the Wildcats an 11-1 victory by the “mercy rule” (10-run lead after 5 innings of play), and put them into the Championship Semifinals game of the tournament against Pacific on Saturday.
The top offensive players for the Wildcats were as follows: Harris 1 hit, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI; Smith 1 hit, 1 run scored, 1 RBI; Deves 1 run scored, 1 RBI; Milner 1 hit, 3 runs scored; Oden 1 hit, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI; Ellis 1 hit, 1 run scored, 1 RBI; Killian 1 run scored; and Worsham and Reagan each had 1 RBI. Bishop pitched all 5 innings for R-2 to earn the victory. The Wildcats’ record improved to 2-0.
In the Pacific game the Wildcats once again jumped out to the early lead in the first inning, as Deves hit a two-out double and scored on a single to right by Harris to give R-2 a 1-0 lead. However, that would be all the scoring the Wildcats would have the rest of this game.
Bishop also started this game pitching on short rest. He held Pacific scoreless in the first inning, but two Wildcat errors in the second inning led to 3 runs, and gave Pacific a 3-1 lead. Parrish relieved Bishop in the third inning and Pacific scored 4 more runs (only one earned) to take a 7-1 lead. Zach Theissen came in as R-2’s third reliever in the fifth and sixth innings. Pacific scored 3 runs in the fifth inning and 1 in the sixth to win the game 11-1 by the “mercy rule”. This loss sent the Wildcats to the Third Place game and dropped their record to 2-1.
The Wildcats struggled with the great Pacific pitching, as 12 Wildcat batters struck out, while only Deves, Harris, Ellis, Smith and Oden each had 1 hit for R-2. Deves scored the only run and Harris had the only RBI. Bishop took the loss for the Wildcats, as Pacific took the lead while he was pitching and the Wildcats never regained the lead.
Later that afternoon the Wildcats faced Rolla in the Third Place game. For the fourth consecutive game the Wildcats took the lead in the first inning. Ellis led off the inning with a single to left and scored on a double to left-center by Deves. Oden drove in Deves with a 2-out single to give the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead. However, Rolla answered with 2 runs of their own in the bottom of the first, helped by a Wildcat error, to tie the game at 2-2.
R-2 came back with 2 more runs in the top of the second. The Wildcats loaded the bases on a walk to Reagan and singles by Ellis and Smith. Deves singled to left field to drive in Reagan. With the bases still loaded, Ellis scored when Harris was hit by a pitch, giving the Wildcats a 4-2 lead. Unfortunately the Wildcats finished the inning with 3 runners on base, a trend that continued the rest of the game. Rolla scored a run in the third inning with the help of a Wildcat error and then picked up another run in the fourth to tie the game at 4-4.
The Wildcats regained the lead in the sixth inning, as Ellis reached first base on a Rolla error and Smith walked, and then both scored on Deves’ third double of the day to give R-2 a 6-4 lead. The Wildcats held onto this lead until the seventh inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Rolla’s first two batters reached base on walks. Harris was brought in to relief pitch for Ellis, who had started the game for R-2 and had pitched 6 solid innings. The first batter Harris faced hit a double, which scored both of the base runners and tied the game at 6-6. Rolla then scored the winning run on a single and won the game 7-6 to win the Third Place trophy.
It was a tough defeat in a game the Wildcats completely dominated but failed to finish. They banged out 10 hits and had 19 base runners, but stranded 11 of them on base, lost some on the base paths, and as a result only scored 6 runs.
The top offensive players for the Wildcat were: Deves 3 hits, 4 RBIs and 1 run scored; Ellis 2 hits and 3 runs scored; Smith 1 hit and 1 run scored; and Reagan 1 hit and 1 run scored. Oden, Knipfel, and Bishop each added a single for the Wildcats. Harris took the loss for the Wildcats who saw their record drop to 2-2.
The Wildcats have several more games since the tournament. Also, the Wildcats are hosting their annual tournament this week with games on Thursday, April 12, and Saturday, April 14. You can read about those games and the upcoming tournament in other articles in this issue of the Standard.