Cats close season with Regional loss to Redskins, 10-0

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

When Trumann (10-19) took the field at Pocahontas against Pocahontas (18-6) in the first round of the Regional tournament Monday night, everyone on the team had some great expectations because they had been playing some of the best ball of the year in the past few weeks. Unfortunately, it was not to be the Wildcats' night as they became victims of the mercy rule losing 10-0.

"We had kind of a rough start." Coach Scott Brown said immediately after the game. "I thought we came ready to play, but after that first inning it seemed like we just couldn't find the strike zone."

Trumann opened the game with only David Cooksey able to get a hit as three other Cats either flied or line out. But then Dustin Lampkin opened on the mound in the bottom of the first and struck out the first two batters, bringing even further enthusiasm to the Wildcats dugout. But then, as Brown mentioned, the strike zone disappeared as the next six runners gained first and the first three of them scored for a 3-0 lead.

After the third run, Brown, deciding it wasn't Lampkin's night, put Kyle Barker on the mound and his first batter flied out to close the inning.

"That first inning, they were just dinking in a hit here and a hit there and before you know it it was 3-0." Brown continued. "We just didn't look like ourselves tonight. Once it started going downhill it started snowballing from there."

The second was no better than the first offensively for the Cats as they went three-in and three-out. The bottom of the second, though was a positive sign for Trumann, though, as the Redskins also had only three batters come to the plate.

In the top of the third, only Wayne Clements was able to reach base on his only hit of the night. The bottom of the third, however, saw Pocahontas break loose again for two more runs and a 5-0 lead.

In the fourth, the Cats made their greatest threat yet on the night when with two outs Arron Wheeler gained first on an error by the shortstop, then Jesse Stevens also benefited when the right fielder lost his high fly in the lights. Wheeler made it to third on the play, but he and Stevens ended up stranded losing the scoring opportunity.

The bottom of the fourth brought some defensive excitement as with two outs, catcher C.J. Cagle threw out a Redskin trying to steal second.

The fifth inning went by uneventfully for either team except for a 1-3 double play when Barker caught a line drive and caught the first base runner trying to return. The top of the sixth turned out to be the last at-bat for the Cats as only Lampkin and Wheeler gained bases on an error and a hit.

The bottom of the sixth sealed the outcome of the game as the Redskins first two runners got hits followed by the third who slammed a homerun over the right field fence to make the score 8-0. Pocahontas then loaded the bases on one hit and two walks then walked in the last two runs and the game was called when the umpires invoked the mercy rule.

Needless to say, there, wasn't a great deal of offense for the Wildcats as Clements finished 1 for 2 while Cooksey and Wheeler finished 1 for 3.

On the mound, in 2/3 innings Lampkin gave up three runs on four hits and two walks while fanning two. Barker then gave up seven runs on seven hits and eight walks while striking out four.

"They are a good ball club," Brown concluded. "and we didn't hit the ball well tonight. When we did hit it, it seemed like we hit it right at someone. They're not 10 runs better than us, but they were tonight. I think if we played them five or six times we would win half of the games. I was disappointed for the seniors, Dustin (Lampkin), Arron (Wheeler), Jordan (Heavener) and David (Cooksey) and I wish we could have done better for them. I think we'll be better next year, though, and I look forward starting next season."

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