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Wildcats win State Farm Wood Bat Classic

By Coach Harv Antle
Houston — The Licking Wildcats claimed a 9-6 victory on Friday over Houston to win the State Farm Houston Wood Bat Tournament.
Runs came in bunches for both teams. Licking collected nine hits and Houston four in the high-scoring affair
The Wildcats opened up scoring in the first inning. Licking’s Gideon Antle doubled in Carter Rinne who led the frame off with a single.
Licking piled on five runs in the fifth inning. The offense came from a single by Connor Medlock, a fielder's choice by Seth Farris, and a double by Michael Milhizer.
Cainan Hutsell picked up the victory in relief of starter Milhizer, who worked the first three innings and permitted just two hits while striking out five. Hutsell went two innings, allowing no runs on zero hits, striking out one and walking one.
Rinne, Antle, and Hunter Krewson all put in work in relief out of the bullpen. Antle recorded the last two outs to earn the save for the ‘Cats.
In the game, Licking scored nine runs on nine hits and committed two errors. Milhizer and Antle each collected multiple hits for the winners.
Licking and Mountain Grove both finished the tournament with 2-1 records. The Wildcats held the head-to-head tiebreaker however and claimed the title of tournament champs.
In the second game of the Classic, the Licking Wildcats took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning at Houston on Thursday only to see Cuba score two unearned runs and escape with 2-1 win.
“Tough loss, no doubt about it,” commented Licking coach Harv Antle. “We have to learn from our mistakes and get better from it.
Licking scored its lone run in the top of the sixth. Hunter Krewson worked a lead-off walk and eventually scored on a passed ball.
Licking failed to capitalize on two more walks and a hit by pitch. The ‘Cats loaded the bases with one out but couldn’t push any insurance runs across.
The missed opportunity came back to haunt Licking in the bottom of the seventh.
A leadoff error set up the Cuba rally.
Cuba used a wild pitch, a stolen base, and a sacrifice fly to tie the game. A walk, a strikeout and a couple of intentional walks loaded the bases with two outs.
The winning run scored when the ball was mishandled on the catcher-pitcher exchange following a pitch. The loss dropped Licking to 1-1 on the season.
Wilson Murray started and received a no decision for Licking despite five stellar innings. The sophomore allowed no runs on one hit, and he did not issue a walk while fanning eight.
Levi Cantrell pitched one and two-thirds innings of relief. He did not allow a hit and struck out one.
Gideon Antle was 1-for-2, was hit by a pitch and stole three bases. Cainan Hutsell drew a pair of walks and stole two bases.  
The Licking Wildcats opened the State Farm Wood Bat Classic at Houston on Tuesday night with a 9-2 victory over the Mountain Grove Panthers.
The Wildcats jumped in front with a 3-run first inning. The big blow was a 2-run blast over the wall in center off the bat of Gideon Antle.
Seth Farris kept the Wildcats’ offense rolling in the second with a 2-run single. Michael Milhizer stroked an RBI double in the frame, and Licking led 7-0 after two innings of play.
Connor Medlock started and worked the first four innings for the win. The senior lefty allowed an unearned run on one hit, fanned four, and walked one.
Levi Cantrell led a parade of Wildcat relievers to the mound to keep Grove in check. Cantrell allowed one run in the fifth, but fanned two while Wilson Murray and Antle tossed scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh.
Antle paced the offense with a 2-for-3 night that included a homer, triple, and three RBIs. Farris went 2-for-4, Milhizer doubled and tripled going 2-for-2, Cainan Hutsell scored twice, Carter Rinne singled and scored, and Murray went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Licking (1-0) collected nine hits in the contest with four going for extra bases.


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