By Coach Harv Antle
LICKING 8, VAN BUREN 5
LICKING, Mo. – The Licking Wildcats knocked the Van Buren Bulldogs from the ranks of the unbeaten with an 8-5 victory on Tuesday night, Sept. 19, at Deer Lick Park.
After surrendering a run to the Bulldogs in the first, Licking answered with three of its own in the bottom of the frame. A Kellar Davis double and a Rusty Buckner walk was followed with a 3-run home run off the bat of Silas Antle.
Van Buren tied the game in the third and took a 5-3 lead in the fourth. However, Licking rallied with a three-run fourth. Kannon Buckner struck the big blow with a 2-run homer to put the Wildcats in front for good.
Kale Cook’s 2-run single in the sixth added some insurance for Licking and made a winner of Keyton Cook. Cook worked into the fifth and gave five runs, two earned, on five hits and fanned five.
Austin Stephens earned the save for Cook and the Wildcats. His two and two-thirds innings yielded no runs on no hits with three strikeouts.
Davis had three hits and led a Licking offense that produced nine hits, five of which went for extra bases. Davis doubled twice and Rusty Buckner doubled and drove in a run, while Kannon Buckner and Antle homered.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for Licking. With the victory, the Wildcats improved to 9-5 for the fall.
The JV Wildcats dropped their contest to Van Buren 5-2. Isaac Rinne took the loss on the mound, surrendering five runs on six hits; the right hander struck out seven and walked two over four innings.
Rinne, Jordan Ritz, Jaxon Kuhn, and Kobye Dunigan all hit safely for Licking. The JV ‘Cats slipped to 4-2 with the setback.
Photos by Alyssa Kennedy and Gracelyn Wesley
LICKING 5, WEST COUNTY 4
PARK HILLS, Mo. – The Licking Wildcats came from behind to beat the West County Bulldogs 5-4 on Friday night in Park Hills.
Licking faced a 3-0 deficit after one inning, but battled to keep West County from adding to its lead. Rusty Buckner singled in Austin Stephens in the top of the third to put the Wildcats on the board.
In the third, Silas Antle singled in a pair of runs to tie the game. After West County captured the lead with a run in the sixth, Licking rallied in the seventh.
Kellar Davis drew a lead off walk for the Wildcats. Buckner was hit by a pitch and Keyton Cook followed with a ringing single to plate Davis and tie the game.
A fielder’s choice brought Garrett Gorman to the plate with two outs and runners at the corners. Gorman’s drive to right center fell for a double and put Licking in front.
Buckner, in relief of Antle, worked around a lead off walk with a pop up and a game-ending double play to end the game.
The double play was one of three the Wildcats turned in the contest. Buckner was the winner with three innings of relief in which he allowed one run on four hits and he struck out one.
Antle took the no decision with four innings on the mound. His line included three runs on four hits with two strikeouts. The win raised Licking’s record to 10-5 for the fall.
Licking swept the evening with a 6-2 victory in the JV game. Jordan Ritz was dominant on the mound, working into the fifth inning and allowing two runs on one hit while striking out eight before Cole McCloy came on to get the final out with a strikeout.
Conway Adey went 2-for-3 at the plate for Licking. Jaxon Kuhn struck the big blow of the game with a 3-run triple in the fourth to break a scoreless tie, while Rinne and Gavin Buckner also chipped in with hits in the game.
With the win, the JV ‘Cats improved to 5-2.