Holly Wildcats Weekly Sports Report, March 31, 2014

Holly Wildcats LogoAfter reaching last season’s Class 1A championship game, Holly looked to take the next step this season and bring home the top trophy in baseball. Through the first three games of the year, the Wildcats have looked like anything but contenders, dropping all three by a combined tally of 47-27.

The Wildcats began the season ranked fourth in the CHSAANow.com rankings, and they took that ranking into the season-opening doubleheader with Granada last Tuesday. Thanks to a three-run first in the initial game, the Wildcats held a 4-1 lead after two innings. That lead disappeared as inconsistency on the mound helped the Bobcats push the tying runs across the dish in the third.

Granada would take a 12-4 lead after an eight-run fourth, but Holly wiped that out with its own eight-run outburst in the bottom of the fifth. The Bobcats regained the advantage with two in the top of the sixth, but the Wildcats answered with six in their half of the frame to hold an 18-14 lead with only one inning to play. Granada, again aided by wildness from the Holly pitchers, pushed five runs across the plate in the top of the seventh, and they retired the side in the bottom of the inning to claim the 19-18 victory. Eddie Rodriguez took the loss, allowing eight runs (seven earned) in two-thirds of an inning. He walked five hitters while striking out one and only surrendered four hits. Rodriguez collected three hits in five trips, scoring two runs and driving in another. Mason Pierce knocked in four runs in the loss.

Christian Orozco got the start in game two and he was greeted rudely by the guests. Granada touched Orozco for 13 runs, seven earned, in two-plus innings, including a nine-spot to open the affair. The senior failed to record an out in the third inning, and he was relieved by Jason Barth, who limited the Bobcats to just a single run in his two innings of work. The Holly bats were stymied by the Bobcats, as the Wildcats could only record five runs on seven hits. Lane Salzbrenner and Ricardo Juarez each picked up two RBI in the 14-5 loss.

There was little time to worry about those two losses, as the Wildcats were right back in action on Thursday, as they hit the road to face County Line. The Rivals struck quickly, pushing four runs across the plate in the bottom of the first. A three-run top of the third had the Wildcats back within two, 5-3, but the Rivals responded with a single tally in the bottom of the frame, and then three more in the fourth. Holly would get one back in the fifth, but County Line put the game away with a five-run bottom of the sixth to earn the 14-4 victory.

Rodriguez came on in relief of Juarez, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits in 2.1 innings. He was also two for three at the plate with a run scored. Defensively, the Wildcats committed 11 errors and three passed balls.

The Wildcats are sure to slide in the rankings when this week’s poll is released on Monday afternoon, but coach Dayne Eaton’s squad is more focused on getting better every day. The Wildcats will have several chances to do that this week, as they visit Walsh on Tuesday for a twin bill, and then return for two at home on Thursday with the Lamar JV.

By Kerry Sherman

Kerry Sherman 100

Colorado high schools for Colorado Preps. Kerry is in his third year of streaming high school sports online for Colorado Preps, and this is his 23rd year of covering high schools for various print and online outlets throughout Colorado. He also has nine years of coaching experience, with the boys basketball programs at Woodlin and Otis.

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