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Licking Baseball

Photo by Shari Harris
Bats came alive in the third inning for both the Wildcats and the Panthers in the win over Mountain Grove Tuesday.

By Harv Antle

LICKING – The Licking Wildcats came from behind on Tuesday night, April 11, to defeat Mountain Grove 8-5 at Deer Lick Park.

Mountain Grove scored twice in the top of the third to open the scoring. Licking countered with three of its own.

In the top of the fourth, Mountain Grove got a 3-run home run from Hoyt Mathews to regain the lead. The seesaw affair took a black and orange turn in the bottom of the inning.

Licking scored four times on three hits to grab the lead for good. The big blow was a 2-run shot over the wall in left off the bat of Malachi Antle.

Austin Stephens shut out Mountain Grove over the final three innings, giving just one hit and fanning two. Stephens picked up the save for starter Silas Antle, who worked the first four and was touched for five runs, two earned, on four hits.

Keyton Rinne paced the Licking offense with a 3-for-4 night that included a double and three runs scored. Malachi Antle was 2-for-4, and Rusty Buckner had a hit and an RBI.

The Wildcats moved to 7-1 with the victory. Licking won the JV game 3-2.

Isaac Rinne was the winning pitcher in relief of Kale Cook. Offensively for Licking, Karson Walker was 1-for-2 with two runs scored.

Kale Cook went 2-for-3 for the winners and drove in the winning run. Benton Corley doubled for Licking as the JV Wildcats improved to 3-1.

STOUTLAND – The Licking Wildcats posted a 12-2 win over the Tigers at Stoutland on Thursday night.

Kannon Buckner started and picked up the win for Licking. The sophomore threw an efficient four innings in which he gave two unearned runs on two hits and fanned four.

Freshman Karson Walker relieved Buckner with three scoreless frames for the save. Walker allowed two hits and struck out a pair.

Kellar Davis drove the Licking offense with a 4-for-4 performance that was a triple shy of the cycle. Davis homered, doubled and singled twice while driving in four runs.

Malachi Antle went 3-for-5 for the Wildcats. Keyton Cook and Rusty Buckner enjoyed two-hit nights and Garrett Gorman registered two RBIs.

The victory was the fifth straight for Licking. The Wildcats raised their record to 8-1.

The JV Wildcats ran their record to 4-1 with a 10-0 win over Stoutland.

Brently Morris was the winning pitcher. The sophomore went three innings and fanned seven while surrendering one hit.

Jordan Ritz cracked a 3-run double for Licking. Cole McCloy was 1-for-2 with a run scored.

NEWBURG – The Licking Wildcats defeated Newburg 33-2 in three innings on Friday at Newburg.

Kale Cook went the distance on the mound for the Wildcat win. The sophomore lefty allowed two runs on two hits and struck out six while walking four.

Silas Antle hit a three-run home run for the winners. Rusty Buckner doubled and drove in three runs, Garrett Gorman hit two doubles and scored three times, and Kannon Buckner was 2-for-2 with three RBIs.

LICKING – On Saturday, the Licking Wildcats hosted Gainesville and Forsyth at Deer Lick Park. The Wildcats defeated Gainesville 7-4 before rain stopped their game with Forsyth in the bottom of the second inning.

Licking took an early lead of 2-1 at the end of the first inning only to see Gainesville post three runs in the third for a 4-2 lead. Then it was all Licking the rest of the way.

Licking answered with a single run in the bottom of the third. In the fifth, Kellar Davis lifted a 3-run homer over the wall in left to put Licking in front for good.

The Wildcats added an insurance run in the inning to provide the final margin. Austin Stephens got the win on the mound in relief of starter Keyton Cook.

Rusty Buckner closed the game in the seventh with a 5-pitch save. Cole Wallace, Keyton Rinne, and Buckner all picked up two hits in the contest.

The win lifted Licking’s record to 10-1 for the season.

Photos by Shari Harris

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