The Wildcats scored two runs in the first and fourth innings and added a single run in the fifth before putting away their Region 5-AAAAA foe with a seven-run, sixth inning.
But of all the runs and hits Woodland produced in its 11th overall victory of the season, one number stood out among all the rest,
“That number in the third column is what I am proud of the most,” Woodland coach Corey Gochee said. “The fact that we did not commit one error is the most impressive statistic as far as this game goes.”
The Wildcats (11-7, 7-5) were flawless in the field, compared with Hiram which committed five costly errors.
“We know we can score runs,” Gochee said. “What’s going to carry us through the remainder of the regular season, though, and give us our best shot at making the region playoffs, will be our pitching and defense.”
It didn’t hurt hat Woodland’s Tyler Stringer drove in two runs with a one-out double in the first inning and two more runs with a single in the fouth to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Blake Hall helped the Wildcats maintain that lead by getting out of a third-inning, bases-loaded jam with a key, two-out strikeout. Hall lasted until the fourth inning, when he gave way to freshman reliever Hayden Siniard, who kept Hiram off the scoreboard by getting the Hornets to hit into an inning-ending, double play.
“Blake and Hayden did a great job for us tonight,” Gochee said. “Both got the key outs when they had too.”
Woodland had shut down Hiram (10-6, 8-4) for five innings, “before we go complacent,” Gochee said.
Hiram cut the Wildcats’ lead to one, 5-4, with a four-run, sixth inning.
Luke Patterson, Woodland’s third pitcher of the night, inherited a bases-load, no-out situation. Patterson struck out the first batter he faced before walking the next and then giving up a two-run double. After giving up a walk and a sacrifice fly, Patterson’s second strikeout of the inning ended Hiram’s bid for a comeback victory.
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