Kanazawa’s two-run homer spearheads Wildcats’ 11-1 victory over Deerfield-Windsor

Published 2:43 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

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ELLAVILLE – Schley County senior shortstop Jay Kanazawa drilled a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning and it was the beginning of a 10-run explosion by the Wildcats, as they would go on to defeat the Deerfield-Windsor Knights 11-1 in a run-ruled game on Thursday at Wildcat Park.

“I thought we started off a little bit flat, but we got it going at about the third inning,” SCHS Head Coach Chuck Cheek said. “We played pretty well. We hit the ball pretty well. Our defense was solid. We had some timely hits.” Cheek went on to praise the production of Kanazawa, who was moved up to the lead off spot in the batting order, replacing Carson Westbrook, who is out do to injury. “He’s really answered the bell for us,” Cheek said about Kanazawa. Cheek also praised the play of Oscar Lloyd, who was inserted into the lineup. “Oscar had a really good night. He had a couple of big hits for us and tracked down a ball in the outfield that I thought was in the gap,” Cheek said. “It was really good to see him have some success because the kid works hard all the time.”

In addition to being the leadoff man for the Wildcats, Kanazawa also did some relief pitching as well. “Jay hopped up on the mound there at the end and we may have something with him pitching too,” Cheek said. “Everybody knows about what kind of quarterback he was. He’s going to get to play in college. He might be able to give us something on the mound.”

Kanazawa went 2 for 4 at the plate with the two-run homer in the bottom of the third and three RBIs and Oscar Lloyd went 2 for 3 at the plate with an RBI.

Schley County starting pitcher Jake Little gave up a run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts to help lead the Wildcats to victory over Deerfield-Windsor.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Jake Little got the start on the mound for the Wildcats. In five innings of work, he gave up a run on three hits, walked two batters and struck out five. Kanazawa came on in relief of Little and in an inning of work, he gave up no runs or hits and had one strikeout.

The Knights took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-out RBI single by Gage Tomlinson, but the Wildcats responded with a run in their half of the inning to tie the game. Two innings later, Kanazawa belted a two-run homer to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.

From that point onward, it was all Schley County. The Wildcats got a run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Kanazawa drove in Oscar Lloyd on an RBI single. Then in the bottom of the fifth, SCHS exploded for four runs on three hits. The big hit of the inning came off the bat of Ju Ju Salazar, who belted an RBI double to give the Wildcats a 6-1 lead. Shortly thereafter, both Rylan Conner and Oscar Lloyd had RBI singles to give the Wildcats an 8-1 lead.

However, SCHS was not done. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Wildcats scored three more runs by taking advantage of four DWS errors, a walk and a hit batsman. At that point, the game was run ruled and the Wildcats left Wildcat Park with an 11-1 victory.