A few days after their defense helped squeak them past a tough 4-3 test with Savannah Christian, the Wildcat defense, which has been sterling so far this season, finally showed a chink in its armor.
Their pitching struggled Friday night, contributing to a 13-7 loss against a tough Jenkins team.
The night before, however, Richmond Hill made short work of another 2-AAAAA team, Johnson, 12-2 in five innings.
Richmond Hill has had their way with the larger region teams so far but against Jenkins they were facing a higher caliber team. Matt Schlag got his second start of the season and, for three and two thirds of an inning, he was in cruise control with a 3-1 lead. That last out of the fourth inning proved to be a back breaker to Schlag and the Wildcats as the Warriors rallied for seven runs and the lead.
After Schlag got the Warrior lead off man to pop up on the infield and the second hitter to ground out, an error followed to allow the first base runner of the inning. It was an omen that was followed by a hit batsman and a series of hits, then the second error of the inning that gave the Warriors their first lead and brought head coach Mitchell Curry and the left handed Matt Graney to the mound with two more Warriors in scoring position.
Graney would not fare better. Jenkin’s Joey Robertson met him with a 2 RBI triple and Graney would give up five runs of his own over the next two innings before Cameron Corbin was brought in to finish the game. As disconcerting as the 14 hits and 5 errors must have been to the Wildcat bench, there were also a slew of free bases in the form of hit batsmen, wild pitches, bases on balls and one balk that helped make the Warriors job easy for them.
Chris Bedell started the game for Jenkins and pitched in and out of trouble, walking six but giving up only two hits during the first four innings. The Wildcats seemed to be one big hit away from breaking the game open in each of those innings, instead they managed just four runs through four and Bedell was relieved by Matt Oglesby in the fifth.
The Wildcats would try to rally, scoring three runs in the sixth on big hits by John Johnson,(2 for 4) then Cameron Corbin’s ( 2-4, 2RBI) 2 RBI single, followed by DH Nathan Kilburn’s (2-4 2b RBI) RBI double. Matt Schlag tried to exact some revenge on the next at bat but a running, over the head catch, by the Jenkins right fielder robbed the Richmond Hill senior of at least a double and two more runs bringing the rally to an end.On Thursday night, the Wildcats tried yet another pitcher in their arsenal as junior Jeremy Goolsby got the start for the Wildcats, pitched three innings and picked up the 12-2 win over Johnson. While Goolsby had some control issues, his teammates gave him plenty to work with.
A six run first inning was enough to jump start the offense and allow them to cruise the rest of the way as they picked up one or two runs an inning through the mercy rule shortened fifth.
Richmond Hill was led by: Cameron Corbin 2-4, RBI; Matt Schlag 2-4, 2b 3 RBI’s; Aaron Pittsley 2-3 RBI; Josh Futch 2-3, 2b, 3 RBI’s. With the start of region play this week, the Cats hope to minimize the mistakes and keep the bat rack warmed up.
The Wildcats travel to Bradwell today for a 6 p.m. start then host South Effingham on Friday at 6 p.m. The Mustangs are coming off a big 4-2 win against Statesboro last week and promises to be the Wildcats toughest competition to date. Saturday they travel to Effingham County to face a good Rebel team at 2 p.m.