The Wildcats’ baseball team lost a pair of one-run games on the opening day of the Grayson County Classic Tournament Thursday. Playing in Denison, the Wildcats came up short against McKinney, 9-8 and then lost a later game, 5-4 to host Denison.
Against McKinney, the Wildcats got off to a good start by scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jaxon Chaney hit a double off the base of the center field wall that scored Kaden Argenbright who had walked and Ryan Humphries who got on on a fielder’s choice. The Lions third inning turned out to be more than the Wildcats could overcome. McKinney scored seven unearned runs. The Wildcats had a throwing error, a ball got lost in the sun and fell in for a single, there was a second throwing error and a hit batter. Then the Lions began to hit as they had three straight RBI singles and a three RBI double. McKinney was up 7-2 after the top of the third. Triston McCormick hit his first of two home runs in the game in the bottom of the third to trim the lead to 7-3. The Lions answered with two more runs in the top of the fourth. After a walk and a double, one Lions’ run scored on a wild pitch and another on a Wildcat error. The Lions led 9-3 after the top of the fourth. The Wildcats had a big rally in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, McCormick connected for his second homer of the game. Then after a Chaney single and a walk for Dawson Draper, Ryder Caddell blasted a home run over the left field wall and McKinney’s lead was only 9-7 after five innings. The sixth inning turned to be the final one in the game due to the tournament time limit. The Wildcats scored a run and threatened to do more but they could not. Humphries had an RBI single after a single by Gavin Millsap and a walk for Austin Dodd. Humphries took the pitching loss despite yielding only a single earned run. Brady Crouse pitched well in relief allowing no hits or runs over three innings. Both teams had 7 hits.
In the late game, the Wildcats led all the way to the bitter end. The Wildcats broke a scoreless tie with Denison with three runs in the top of the third. Tyler Armstrong hit a home run. Jase Thompson drew a walk and Humphries hit a two-run home run over the left center field wall. The Yellow Jackets got two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth using a single, a walk and then an RBI single and RBI double. The Wildcats scored a run in the top of the fifth to go up 4-2. Millsap walked, stole second and then came around to score on Humphries’ double. Denison matched that run in the bottom of the fifth using two singles and a sacrifice fly. The Wildcats still led 4-3 after five. It stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh. Crouse replaced starter Triston McCormick for the Wildcats. The Yellow Jackets tied the game with a double, a stolen base, a walk and an RBI bunt single. Another successful bunt single loaded the bases. Draper came in to pitch. A wild pitch allowed Denison to score the winning run in the 5-4 win. The Wildcats season record is 3-7. They still have three games to play in the Grayson County Classic. They play Bridgeport in Sherman Friday morning at 11 a.m. The Wildcats end the tournament with back to back games on Saturday in Sherman. They face Celina at 11 a.m. and Sanger at 1:30 p.m.