Wharton wins in pitching duel vs Wiregrass

The Wiregrass Ranch Bulls baseball team lost to the Wharton Wildcats on April 4th with a score of 3-1.

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Wharton wins in pitching duel vs Wiregrass

Pitcher (#3) Paul Sustachek throwing a pitch.

Pitcher (#3) Paul Sustachek throwing a pitch.

Christian Varghese

Pitcher (#3) Paul Sustachek throwing a pitch.

Christian Varghese

Christian Varghese

Pitcher (#3) Paul Sustachek throwing a pitch.

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The Wiregrass Ranch boys baseball team lost to the Wharton Wildcats this past Thursday by a score of 3-1. This was the second time the Bulls were matched up against the Wildcats, losing 7-4 on March 7th.

The Bulls came into the game on a five-game winning streak beating the likes of IMG Academy White and Sunlake while the Wildcats came in boasting an 11-3 record.

“We knew going into the game that it was going to be a very close game; they had their best pitcher going who’s doing really well this year,” Coach Marshall McDougall said before the game. “We had our pitchers going that we had confidence in, and it was a pitcher’s duel.”

Christian Varghese
Third basemen (#7) Nate Crissey leading off first base.

The Bulls scored first in the bottom of the second inning. Catcher, Noah Johnson got to second after an overthrown ball to first base and third basemen Nate Crissey hit an RBI single into the left outfield to bring Johnson home.

It was a quiet third inning, but the Wildcats showed good plate discipline in the fourth, recording two walks and executing a sacrifice bunt to get a runner to third. The first run came from a fly ball into the outfield, followed by a double that batted the next runner in. Pitcher Paul Sustachek was replaced by relief pitcher Chase Wills, but the pitching change did not stop Wharton from recording one more run. The inning ended 3-1 for the Wildcats.

Both teams struggled to get anything going in the fifth or sixth inning, but the Bulls tried to come back late in the seventh inning when Crissey was walked. Left Fielder Mitch Ferrara followed with a single. A failed sacrifice bunt that tried to get Crissey to third base was caught in the air, forcing Crissey to run back to second, getting picked off. The final out occurred as Ferrara attempted to get in a better scoring position after a 3-2 count, but was picked off by Wharton’s pitcher, ending the game.

Christian Varghese
The Bulls and Wildcats shaking each other’s hands after the game.

Crissey views the loss as a learning experience.

“That game was important to show us we have to execute for the entire seven innings if we want to reach our end-year goal and be the team we have the potential to be,” Crissey stated.

Senior Jalenn Mead believes the Bulls could improve their efficiency at the plate.

“Games are going to be close and if we can steal a run anyway, then we need to take advantage,” Mead added.

The Bulls go into their next game with a 6-5 record, playing against IMG Academy Grey on Tuesday, April 9th.

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