Wildcats wrap up regular-season 25-2, roll over Cougars for region title
Published 1:34 pm Monday, April 24, 2017
By MICHAEL MURRAY
The Schley County Wildcats have been on quite a tear this season, bulldozing their way through a series of Region 4-A and non-conference foes on their quest to earn themselves a berth in the upcoming state tournament.
Recently, the Wildcats blazed past the Miller County Pirates twice in one afternoon in an April 15 doubleheader in Ellaville. The Wildcats won the day’s opener with a 15-0 shutout of the Pirates and capped off the series with a 15-5 victory. Prior to that pair of wins, the Wildcats rode the momentum of a Clint Sellars grand slam to a 10-0 victory over the St. Anne-Pacelli Vikings on April 12. This win came on the heels of an April 11 victory, which the Wildcats took over Taylor County in Butler.
The ‘Cats hit the road on April 18 to take on Crawford County in Roberta. The Schley crew finished their regular-season competition with a bang, bringing home a five-inning 15-1 win over the Eagles to finish in the top spot in Region 4-A with an undefeated record after 12 match-ups. As of this writing, the Wildcats enjoy a 25-2 overall record.
On April 21, the ‘Cats traveled to Columbus to take on Brookstone for the region championship. The Wildcats went on to win the Region Championship match 7-3 and earn the Region crown.
Brookstone finished the regular season in second place in the region with a record of 12-2, followed by the Taylor County team, which amassed an 11-3 region mark.
The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) recently released the Class A power rankings with the Wildcats occupying the top spot. Gordon Lee, Lanier County, Emmanuel County Institute, and Seminole County are in second through fifth places, respectively.
When the Wildcats hit the road to take on Taylor County on April 11, the teams engaged in a defensive battle that would continue for the full seven innings.
Schley added runs in both the first and second frames before bringing their tally to four in the third stanza.
From there, both teams tightened up their defensive play and the Vikings managed to prevent Schley’s batters from doing any further damage.
Fortunately for the visiting fans, the Wildcats had been able to stave off the Vikings’ attack from the get-go, eventually taking the 4-0 victory.
Schley’s Chase Patrick went the distance for the Wildcats, giving up only two hits in seven innings on the mound. Patrick struck out 15 batters in the game.
In total, the Wildcats collected four hits in the match, with Chance Holloman accounting for two of them.
Hollomon, Jared Wall, and Cameron Belcher each contributed one RBI to the win.
The Wildcats’ April 12 test against the St. Anne-Pacelli Vikings proved to be a shorter meeting between the two old rivals as the Schley squad jumped out early, pulling ahead 3-0 in the first frame, propelled by a rally sparked by a single off of Will Barry’s bat. Sellars then added a double to bring in Barry and Patrick followed with a two-RBI single.
The second frame proved just as productive for the Schley crew, though the Vikings managed to get two outs on the board right off the bat. Reid Ragsdale managed to draw a walk and proceeded to steal second base. Jordan Hall and Barry followed by drawing walks of their own. With the bases loaded and Sellars in the batter’s box, he was able to nail a hard shot over the left field fence and clear the bases. Sellars’ grand slam pushed the Wildcats’ advantage to 7-0 before the visitors would return to the dugout.
The scoreboard fell silent for the following two innings, but the home team got their rally going again in the bottom of the fifth when Wade Law opened with a double to left field. As Belcher was drawing a walk, Law took advantage of a passed ball to make his way to second base. Law repeated this performance again with Ashton Goodin in the batter’s box, this time making his way home to put the ‘Cats up 8-0.
Goodin and Wall both drew further walks to load the bases and Ragsdale followed suit, pushing in Belcher.
Finally, Trent Bivins offered up a sacrifice fly to allow Goodin to cross the plate and end the game with a 10-point win for the Wildcats.
In total, the Wildcats connected on 10 hits in the region match.
Sellars connected on a double in addition to his grand slam, while Law nailed a double in one of his two connections of the game. Barry, Patrick, Hollomon, and Ragsdale each collected hits as well.
Sellars totaled five RBIs in the match. Patrick added two more and Bivins batted in the final runner.
Sellars spent three innings on the mound for the Wildcats, striking out three batters. Goodin and Dylan Windham both handled one inning, striking out one opponent apiece.
In game one of the team’s April 15 doubleheader against Miller County, the Wildcats got off to a fiery start once more, plating 10 runners in the initial inning to grab a 10-1 lead early in the tilt. The Wildcats upped the ante in the second frame, putting another run on the board and the Pirates responded with one of their own in the top of the third. Schley added another in the bottom of the fourth and both teams logged three in the fifth before the game was called and the Schley crew put another significant 15-5 win in the record books.
Hollomon led the team from the plate in the day’s opener, scattering three hits. Sellars added two more. Patrick brought in two runners in the match.
Windham, Barry, and Sellars split time on the mound for the Wildcats. Barry dispatched three batters while Windham and Sellars each struck out two.
The Wildcats rode this momentum into game two of the afternoon to take a 15-0 win over their guests in a four-inning blowout. The ‘Cats plated one batter in the first, two in the second, eight in the third, and four in the fourth to snag the quick win.
Hall led the team from the plate, contributing three RBIs while Cameron Vanlerberghe and Barry both brought in a pair of runners.
Goodin spent all four innings on the hill for the ‘Cats, striking out two batters.