The Henry County Wildcats and Eminence Warriors squared off in a baseball doubleheader on April 23 in Eminence and the Wildcats came out on top in both games.
In the first game the Cats scored big in the second and third innings — they scored six run in the second inning after taking a 1-0 lead in the first.
James Pollard did most of the damage with a two-out, three-run home run to left field.
The Cats added seven more in the top of the third. Seth Williams led off with a single and then stole second and third base. Brad West, Henry County’s starting pitcher, hit a one-out single to score Williams and get the inning started. Dakota Estes followed with another single. Landon New had a two-RBI double. Dylan Adams followed with a two–run home run as the Cats put on an impressive hitting display. Stephen Archer got in on the act with a two-RBI single, scoring Aaron McClish and Pollard.
The Cats added a run in the fifth to make the final score 15-0.
In the second game, the Warriors started off well, scoring in the top of the first when Austin Jones singled, stole second and came home on a single by Austin Perry.
Henry came back in the bottom of the inning to score two runs. New was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Adams followed with a double to score New. Adams eventually scored on a bases loaded walk to Stephen Archer making it 2-1. Eminence pitcher Trevor Payton struck out the next two batters limiting the damage and McClish was tagged out in a rundown by Jones when a wild pitch bounced off the backstop and came right back him.
Henry County pitcher Bodie Clark and Payton settled down in the second inning, allowing no runs.
In the third inning, the Wildcats added a run when McClish went deep for a solo home run. Pollard followed with a walk before Payton struck out a batter. Williams followed with a single to give the Cats runners on first and third with two outs. After Payton got another strikeout, Pollard tried to score on a wild pitch. But Jones hustled to the backstop and threw to Payton , who was covering home, to get the final out of the inning.
The Wildcats broke the game open in the fourth inning when they scored five runs.
West led with a double and scored on a deep, fence-clearing home run by Estes. New, Adams and Estes also got hits and came around to score in the inning.
The Cats added two more in the fifth and one in the sixth to end the game early.
EHS coach LeRoy Dunn took some positives away for his young team. “In the first game we were flat and a little nervous,” he said. “We did not play well at all. In the second game the fans got into it and the players fed off the fans. I thought we played well.
“We got good pitching for the most part. The one thing I need to get my pitchers to understand is when players are on top of the plate, stay in control and don’t be scared to throw inside. I felt we competed in seven of the 11 innings. That’s pretty good for us. We just have to learn how to hit and not get out-hustled.”
Coach Zak Yates likes how his team is playing right now. “The biggest thing we are doing right now is playing smart and taking advantage of our opponents’ mistakes,” he said. “If you play like that and make plays and hit the ball then you are going to be successful.”