By Harv Antle
DIXON – The Licking Wildcats edged the Dixon Bulldogs 5-3 on Monday night in Dixon.
Licking broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third with three unearned runs. Cole Wallace reached on an error followed by hits from Keyton Rinne, Malachi Antle and Rusty Buckner.
Dixon answered with one in the bottom of the third and two in the fifth. Licking rallied with two outs in the seventh for a pair of runs and Rusty Buckner worked a 1-2-3 seventh to give the Wildcats the victory.
Buckner earned the win with two innings of one-hit relief in which he fanned four. Licking starter Silas Antle worked into the fifth and took a no decision.
Antle scattered five hits in four and two-thirds innings and was charged with three runs, two earned, and fanned 10. Austin Stephens got the final out of the fifth before turning things over to Buckner.
Garrett Gorman put Licking on top in the seventh with a single to plate Keyton Cook, who doubled in front of him. Gorman finished the night 2-for-3.
Malachi Antle and Rinne also collected two hits and Kellar Davis stroked an RBI double. Licking improved to 17-5 overall and 7-1 in the Frisco League.
Dixon won the JV game over Licking 3-1. Jordan Ritz took the loss on the mound for Licking.
Karson Walker, Cole McCloy, and Kobye Dunigan each picked up one hit for Licking. Walker had the lone Wildcat RBI as the JV ‘Cats fell to 8-4 with the loss.
CABOOL – The Licking Wildcats finished off the Cabool Bulldogs 25-1 in four innings on Tuesday night at Cabool.
Licking’s Kellar Davis picked up the win on the mound with three innings of work in which he allowed no hits and struck out four. Cole Wallace mopped up and allowed one run on two hits.
Kale Cook went 2-for-2 for the Wildcats with four RBIs. Keyton Rinne, Keyton Cook and Davis all had two hits each in Licking’s 15-hit attack.
Malachi Antle drove in three runs for the winners, Garrett Gorman knocked in two runs, and Rusty Buckner had three RBIs. The win lifted Licking to 18-5 this season.
Licking won the JV game 13-0. Isaac Rinne was the winner with four scoreless innings on the mound as he allowed one hit and struck out five.
Karson Walker went 3-for-4 with three runs scored to spark the offense. Cole McCloy had a pair of hits and two RBIs, Kale Cook drove in three runs on three hits, Jordan Ritz had a pair of hits, Derek Mendenhall hit a 2-run home run, and Nate Gambill was 2-for-2 and scored twice.
The win moved the JV Wildcats’ record to 9-4 this spring.
SALEM – The Licking Wildcats competed in the Salem Tournament over the weekend, going 2-1, and finished third.
Licking opened play on Friday with a 14-1 win over the Waynesville Tigers. Kannon Buckner was the winning pitcher for Licking.
Buckner worked three scoreless innings. The sophomore scattered three hits and fanned two while walking one.
Rusty Buckner carried the offensive load for Licking. The junior went 3-for-4 with a grand slam and six RBIs. Cole Wallace, Keyton Cook and Kellar Davis all enjoyed multi-hit games.
In their second game of the day, Licking dropped a 1-0 decision in eight innings to Pacific.
Kellar Davis threw six scoreless innings for Licking only to get a no decision. Davis allowed three hits and struck out four before giving way to Rusty Buckner.
Buckner took the loss when Pacific scratched a single run in the top of the eighth. Licking threatened in the bottom of the inning, putting the tying and go-ahead runs on, but couldn’t score.
In the game, the Wildcats left 11 runners on base. The loss sent Licking to the third place game on Saturday versus Salem.
Licking shutout Salem 4-0 behind the dominant pitching of Keyton Cook. He went the distance and limited Salem to two hits and one walk while fanning 14.
Keyton Rinne led a 9-hit Licking attack with a 2-for-2 afternoon. Silas Antle doubled home a run and scored one, and Garrett Gorman singled, walked and scored twice.
Cook and Davis were named to the All Tournament team. The win for the Wildcats raised their record to 20-6 heading into the final week of the season.