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Wildcat Baseball spring season begins

By Coach Harv Antle

 The Licking Wildcats completed the Houston Tournament on Saturday and finished with a record of 2-1.

Mtn. Grove 7, Licking 4

In the opener against Grove, Licking fell behind 7-0 after the first three innings. Despite holding Grove off the scoreboard for the rest of the game, the Wildcats’ rally fell short.

Licking scored two runs in the sixth and the seventh, but Brendan Rogers was able to close the door on the Wildcats. Rogers got the save for Mtn. Grove while Hunter Means recorded the win for the Panthers.

Spencer Rogers led the Wildcat offense with a 2-for-3 day. Rogers also picked up an RBI while Silas Antle knocked in two runs, Rusty Buckner collected a pair of hits, and Keyton Cook went 1-for-3 with two runs scored.

Landon Medlock started and took the loss for Licking. He allowed seven runs, six earned, on eight hits over three innings. Elijah Ullom turned in three scoreless innings of relief for Licking.

Licking 8, Houston 7

Game two of the tournament saw Licking come from behind and edge Houston 8-7.

The host Tigers built a 5-0 advantage after two innings. The Wildcats countered with three runs of their own in the top of the third, only to see Houston answer with one. At the end of three innings of play, Houston was in front 6-3.

The big inning for Licking was the fifth. The Wildcats plated five runs and surged ahead 8-6. The key blow of the inning was a two-run double off the bat of Rusty Buckner.

Each team scored a run in the last inning. The Tigers threatened for more in the bottom of the last inning when they loaded the bases with one out.

Austin Stephens relieved Cole Wallace for Licking and recorded a strikeout and a ground-out to end the game. Stephens earned the save for winner Kaden Wantland.

Wantland worked two and two-thirds innings in relief of starter Silas Antle. Wantland allowed one run on one hit and fanned three to pick up his first win of the spring.

Licking 5, Cuba 1 (9 innings)

The final game of the tournament went nine innings as Licking outlasted Cuba 5-1.

Keyton Cook started and pitched six strong innings. He permitted five hits and one unearned run while walking just one and striking out seven. Landon Medlock pitched three innings of scoreless relief to pick up the victory. He scattered three hits while issuing one base on balls and fanning one.

Malachi Antle turned in a 2-for-3 day at the plate and Cole Wallace registered a pair of hits and an RBI to pace the Wildcat offensive attack.

Licking improved to 2-1 for the spring with the win. This week the Wildcats are scheduled to play at Newburg and Salem on Monday and Tuesday before returning home to play Crocker on Thursday.

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