The Wildcats played two games this past week. On Friday, March 28, they suffered a heartbreaking region loss to Benedictine after leading most of the game. On Saturday, March 29, they lost a non region contest to a tough Groves team in Savannah.
Against BC, Junior Ryan Dickey took the mound for the Cats. Dickey gave up an infield single to the first batter he faced who later scored on an error. This was the only hit that Dickey gave up in the 4 1/3 innings he pitched.
"It’s really unfortunate for Ryan Dickey because he threw a really good game and he deserved to win," Coach Mitchell Curry said. "We gave away the game with errors and mental mistakes. I mean we had the bases loaded three times, but only produced two runs and left 14 men stranded."
Curry said he is frustrated at the team’s unexpected recent losing streak with losses to South Effingham, Liberty and Benedictine because he believes his team is better than that.
"I’m still sticking to my statements I made before these games when I said this is the best and most prepared team I’ve ever coached, and that just makes all this that much harder to swallow. We can blame it on the defense all we want, but the bottom line is we’re not producing hits and getting runs. When we beat Savannah Christian, we made seven errors. We also were hitting, so it allowed us some room for error."
The Cats could manage only two runs through the first three innings of play despite loading the bases three times. Taylor Smith scored one run in the second with a sacrifice fly and John Johnson produced another run in the third when he drew a walk with the bases loaded.
In the fourth inning with two outs, Jeremey Goolsby doubled to deep left field to start a rally that would score two runs for the Cats with Raul Rodriquez’s single to right field. Leading 4-1 in the top of the fifth, Dickey, after giving up two walks, would yield the mound to Mathew Graney. BC would load the bases only to have Graney pitch out of the jam.
The wheels came off for the Cats in the top of the sixth. Four hits, two walks and several errors later, the Cats found themselves trailing 5-4. Things started well in the bottom of the sixth. Goolsby led off with a single up the middle and Johnson reached on an error, but a strikeout and a line drive double play ended the inning.
BC would score another run in the top of the seventh. Freshmen Kevin Mathews saw his first varsity action of the season when he was called into the game to pitch the Cats out of a jam. Mathews did not disappoint ending the inning.
Cody Rushing did get hit by a pitch to lead off the seventh. A sacrifice bunt moved Rushing to second, but any hopes of a rally ended with Rushing being picked off of second base and followed by a strikeout.
The Richmond Hill Wildcats took the field in a non region game Saturday against Groves. The Cats simply looked flat following Thursday night’s loss to BC. Coach Mitchell Curry shook things up in his starting lineup, resting some of his starters and giving some other players a chance to play.Senior Jeremey Goolsby took the mound in only the second varsity start of his limited pitching career. Goolsby would pitch three innings giving up five runs. The Cats managed to score one run in the bottom of the first only to see their bats go cold. Ben Auger relieved Goolsby in the top of the fourth. Auger gave up five runs with quite a few errors behind him. Groves went on the win the game 10-1.
"We took this non-region opportunity to see some other guys play," Curry said. "It allowed for some field time for alternate players who have been working hard and sitting on the bench and they did well. Groves came out and did a great job. They beat us soundly which I can’t say for the last several losses we’ve suffered. I would much rather prefer to lose games in that fashion than to give them away. Unfortunately it’s been the latter for the three games prior and that’s what keeps me up at night. We’ve got a lot of work to do in practice."
The Cats are now 6-6 and 0-3 for region play. The next game for the Cats is a must win region game against Burke County at home Friday. Any chances of post season play hinge on them being able to run the table in their remaining region games.