Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Senior night for the Wildcat baseball team ended in an extra-inning loss to Hart County, but Head Coach Bo West said he liked how his team battled back from an early deficit.
"We put ourselves in an early hole with some errors," he said. "Our guys also had to fight through the emotions of senior night where we had a lot of things going on, but they never gave up. They hung in there and battled back and it was great to see that."
Hart County started off scoring one unearned run in each of the first two innings but a 2-RBI single for junior Logan Lindsey tied things up in the third inning 2-2.
Senior Caleb Skaggs singled in the fourth inning and stole second. He scored on Chaz Wilson's single and the Wildcats took the 3-2 lead.
In the fifth, Hart County took advantage of a walk, an error, and two singles as three runs scored and the Raiders jumped back on top 5-3. Logan Minton relieved starting pitcher Walker Hazel in the inning. Hazel's pitching line was: 4.1 innings, three hits, two walks, 6 Ks, and no earned runs.
Caleb Skaggs led off in the sixth by reaching base on a dropped third strike and advanced to second on an errant throw to first. Skaggs stole third and scored on Tanner Woodcock's ground ball to narrow Hart County's lead 5-4.
The Wildcats held the Raiders scoreless and would need at least one run in the bottom of the seventh to stay alive.
Senior Walker Hazel led off with a double to center field and moved to third on Logan Minton's perfectly placed bunt up the first baseline. Hazel scored to tie things up on Waldrop's hard single up the middle as the game later moved into extras.
Both teams were scoreless in the 8th but Hart County was able to put two runs on the board in the ninth. Freshman Jacob Vincent relieved Minton on the mound as Minton pitched 3.2 innings, gave up 3 hits, 5Ks, 1 BB, and 2 runs (one unearned).
Edmonson County had good opportunities for a comeback win thanks to Minton reaching on an error, Waldrop's single up the middle, and Hunter Garrett's walk, but was only able to put one run on the board as they fell 7-6.
The district tournament is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 22 in Brownsville as the Wildcats will host this year's tournament. Coach West said his team will be preparing for either Grayson or Butler's pitchers, whichever team they get in the draw.
"We're going to focus on their pitching and be ready for what they bring. We're also going to clean up our defense a little. We had a seven game stretch earlier in the year with only one error and we need to get back to that. We're also going to do better with our two strike approach. We're going to battle."
The box score was: Hazel 2-4, 1, BB, Lindsey 1-4, 1BB, 2RBI, Waldrop 2-5, 1 RBI, Garrett 1-4, 1BB, Skaggs 2-4, 1 RBI, Woodcock RBI, BB, Wilson 1-4, 1 RBI, Clemmons 1-3, 1 BB.
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