Wildcats open with loss to North Oldham

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By Greg Woods

The Henry County Wildcats baseball team finally got to play a game on Friday after having their first four games cancelled by inclement weather. The Wildcats moved their scheduled home game with North Oldham to Goshen in order to finally get a game in.

The Cats fell to the Mustangs 4-0. North Oldham, the two-time defending 8th Region champs scored two runs in the first and two in the sixth to get the win against the Wildcats who fell 11-8 to North in the semifinals of the region last year.

Offensively, the Cats squandered chances in the fourth and fifth innings to get a rally going. Coach Zak Yates said, “Overall I was pretty pleased but when we get runners on, we need to get them in scoring position and we weren’t able to do that.”

After North scored two runs in the first, the Cats missed their first opportunity in the 4th when Dylan Adams led off with a single. The Cats weren’t able to move him on until he made it to second on fielder’s choice that was the second out of the inning.

In the fifth inning, Brad West led off with a single but the Cats failed to move him along and the threat ended quietly.

The Cats got a strong pitching performance from starter Alex Miles after a shaky first inning and a solid relief stint from Brad West. “I was very pleased with the performance of Miles and West,” Yates said. “Alex has always been a slow starter. He has to do a better job of holding runners on. They were able to steal some bases because of his slow delivery to the plate, but the bottom line is that Alex’s main concern needs to be focusing on the batters rather than the bases and we’ll get that worked out where he can do both as the season progresses. Brad did a great job coming in for Alex. They got a couple of runs but Brad keeps the ball around the plate and that’s what we need. We held the defending champions to four runs. I have to be pleased with that.”

“We also had some big defensive plays that kept the game close. Brad made a diving catch on the right field line with two outs and runners on that saved us a couple of runs. Stephen Archer had a diving stop going to his right in the sixth that kept them from scoring more runs and Seth Williams made a nice over-the-shoulder catch deep in left that saved some runs. Really, without those plays it would have been a 7, 8, or 9 run margin.”

“Our biggest thing is we have to play a clean game and get some timely hitting. We just have to go play. The weather can’t be an excuse. We will get better as we go on and get some games under our belt.”