Archive for Thursday, May 4, 2006

Cardiac Cats

De Soto’s final-frame finesse bags three heart-stopping victories

May 4, 2006

Search hard and make sure you come up with all the cliches.

De Soto fights until the last out.

The Cats step up when it counts the most.

And of course, there's the easy one.

They're not done until the fat lady sings.

The Wildcats' run through the last three games doesn't exactly define smart, steady or stable. But it does define successful. De Soto won it's third-consecutive game via seventh-inning heroics Monday, and while coach Steve Deghand said he'll take 'em any way he can get 'em, he'd just as soon save himself a few nervous heartbeats and win them the easy way.

"It's good in a sense because they know they can do it," Deghand said, "but it's bad because we have to go through it every time."

If De Soto's most amazing comeback was the first one Thursday against Spring Hill --the Cats rebounded from a 9-0 deficit for a 15-14 victory -- and the most unexpected was Thursday's second game against the Broncos -- De Soto trailed 6-1 in the sixth inning -- Monday's win was the luckiest.

For six innings, it didn't appear the Wildcats would need any late-game fireworks. Taylor Burnett was dominating on the mound and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

Austin Bills and Austin DeGraeve teamed for a pair of RBIs in the fourth and Colby Childers batted in another in the sixth.

Louisburg finally caught up to Burnett, however, and scored once in the sixth and used a hit, an error and a hit batsman to move runners into position in the top of the seventh.

A long double flew just beyond Childers' grasp in center and Louisburg quickly took the lead, 4-3.

The Cats weren't done, however. Jerod Bader singled to lead off De Soto's final inning and Tyler Farmer drew a full-count walk.

Burnett struck out and Riley Pierce advanced the runners, but grounded out and Kenny Price quickly found himself in an 0-2 hole. Had Louisburg's shortstop not tossed Price's hard-hit ground ball five feet over the first baseman's head, De Soto may well have lost.

Bader scored on was determined to be a single from Price and Farmer dashed home from third as the first baseman scampered after the errant throw, securing the win.

"I should have told Colby to play deeper (in the seventh), so that was my fault. The game should have ended right there, 3-2," Deghand said. "We had 11 hits and that's pretty good for a seven-inning game. Taylor didn't walk anyone. He struck out 10. It'd of been a shame for us to lose that game."

Far less disappointing would have been losing either game Thursday. In both, the Cats found themselves facing near insurmountable deficits, yet in both they found the necessary runs and the clutch hitting needed.

Bader struggled mightily pitching in the first game as Spring Hill notched nine runs in the first two innings.

De Soto answered back with seven in the second, however, and trailed by just two in the seventh when Farmer earned a lead-off walk.

Burnett smashed his fourth homer of the season to tie the game and Bills doubled to score DeGraeve and win the game.

Burnett and Bills again teamed up for the winning act in the second Spring Hill game. Bills scored from third on a passed ball to cap a five-run sixth inning and tie the game at six. Brady Maasen recovered from an 0-2 count to earn a leadoff walk and the Broncos intentionally let Burnett on.

Price then grounded hard up the middle, scoring a run to answer Spring Hill's go-ahead bid in the top of the seventh and Burnett came home on a suicide squeeze bunt laid down by Pierce.

"It's the beauty of baseball," Deghand said of the rallies. "You can't stall. You can't take the air out of the ball. It's not over until you record all 21 outs."

Jerod Bader singled to lead off De Soto's final inning and Tyler Farmer drew a full-count walk.

Burnett struck out and Riley Pierce advanced the runners, but grounded out and Kenny Price quickly found himself in an 0-2 hole. Had Louisburg's shortstop not tossed Price's hard-hit ground ball five feet over the first baseman's head, De Soto may well have lost.

Bader scored on was determined to be a single from Price and Farmer dashed home from third as the first baseman scampered after the errant throw, securing the win.

"I should have told Colby to play deeper (in the seventh), so that was my fault. The game should have ended right there, 3-2," Deghand said. "We had 11 hits and that's pretty good for a seven-inning game. Taylor didn't walk anyone. He struck out 10. It'd of been a shame for us to lose that game."

Far less disappointing would have been losing either game Thursday. In both, the Cats found themselves facing near insurmountable deficits, yet in both they found the necessary runs and the clutch hitting needed.

Bader struggled mightily pitching in the first game as Spring Hill notched nine runs in the first two innings.

De Soto answered back with seven in the second, however, and trailed by just two in the seventh when Farmer earned a lead-off walk.

Burnett smashed his fourth homer of the season to tie the game and Bills doubled to score DeGraeve and win the game.

Burnett and Bills again teamed up for the winning act in the second Spring Hill game. Bills scored from third on a passed ball to cap a five-run sixth inning and tie the game at six. Brady Maasen recovered from an 0-2 count to earn a leadoff walk and the Broncos intentionally let Burnett on.

Price then grounded hard up the middle, scoring a run to answer Spring Hill's go-ahead bid in the top of the seventh and Burnett came home on a suicide squeeze bunt laid down by Pierce.

"It's the beauty of baseball," Deghand said of the rallies. "You can't stall. You can't take the air out of the ball. It's not over until you record all 21 outs."

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