Defensive miscues put Wildcats in hole against
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 26, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
East St. John Coach Ryan Sims wants to see his team playing what he calls “Wildcat baseball”, an aggressive, run-oriented attack that puts opponents on its heels.
But when its opponent gets on the board with four unearned runs in the first inning, much of that strategy has to go out the window.
Such was the case on Saturday, as the Wildcats fell to South Lafourche, 6-5, during the South Terrebonne tournament.
Although Wildcats starting pitcher Lionel Weston allowed no earned runs and only three hits, East St. John lost by giving up six unearned runs, and committed four errors on the day.
“It was some sloppy baseball by the Wildcats,” said Sims. “We started the game just kicking the ball around.”
Due to rainy weather conditions, it was the only game in the tourney that the Wildcats (1-1) would take part in.
East St. John left nine runners on base during the game, including leaving the bases loaded twice.
“They gave us a lot of chances to get this game,” said Sims. “We never took advantage.”
Nonetheless, the Wildcats clawed back into the game. East St. John tied the game at four in the bottom of the fifth inning. Each team scored in the sixth inning to enter the seventh in a 5-5 tie.
But the Tarpons would get the winning run across in the top of the seventh inning, and the wildcats were unable to match.
Justin Howard led East St. John at the plate by knocking in two runs.
Reynaldo Young also played a key role for the Wildcats’ comeback attempt, scoring two from the leadoff spot in the lineup.
“He set the tone for us at the top of the lineup,” said Sims.
East St. John had six hits on the day.
Weston (0-1) pitched the full game and struck out four Tarpon batters.
Sims feels that his team is capable of much more than its weekend performance indicated.
“I take total responsibility for that game,” said Sims. “Our team wasn’t prepared to play in a game that we should have won. It’s on my shoulders to get them ready.
“We need to work on not coming out flat as we did there. It’s gonna be all right. We’ve got a talented but young team that’s learning under fire. We’ll get it.”