Bearcats follow Bethel's lead past Wylie East
With the first round of district about to come to an end, Tate Bethel gave the Bearcats a boost on the mound and at the plate.
Bethel threw a three-hitter with three strikeouts, a hit by pitch and no walks and went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles, five RBI and scored as the Bearcats defeated Wylie East, 9-3, in District 10-5A action at Sherman.
Logan Williams singled, was hit by a pitch, stole three bases and scored three times, Luke Young went 2-for-3 and scored and Connor Clark singled, walked twice and scored three times for Sherman (9-10, 2-4), which plays at Princeton on Tuesday to close out the first half of district play.
Cade Dorethy went 2-for-3 and scored for Wylie East (9-9, 2-4).
While the Bearcats and Raiders are now tied for fifth in the standings, they still sit two games behind Rock Hill for the final playoff spot.
“The standings are in the locker room and they’re updated every day. If we keep playing like this we’ll be in a good spot,” Sherman head coach Chris Anderson said. “We’re seeing them kinda grow up in front of our eyes. They’re figuring things out."
The Bearcats have been in all of their district losses — none of them are by more than three runs and the four are by a combined nine runs — and they were able to get an early jump on the Raiders.
Wylie East did get a run back in the fifth when Jacob Hollingsworth was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Rylee Lamm’s one-hit single up the middle. The Raiders put runners at the corners with two outs and then Dorethy was picked off, trying to get caught on the bases so the run could score but Lamm was unable to cross the plate before the out was recorded.
It was as close as the Raiders would get — Bethel sent down the final six he faced to close out the win on 89 pitches.
“Tate’s been feeling it,” Anderson said. “I thought he lost a little bit in the fifth but then turned it right back on. We're fortunate to have a guy like that out there.”
Sherman tacked on three runs in the fourth with two outs to widen the gap. Williams was at first after a forceout that was the second out. He stole second and third before scoring on an error. Clark was at second following the miscue and he came home when Bethel dunked a double into the left-field corner.
Bethel then stole third as Dylan Fine walked and the throw went down the line, allowing him to score and make it 9-2.
“That’s the one thing we have, multiple guys who can run and put pressure on the defense,” Anderson said.
Another two-out rally in the second not only had put the Bearcats back in front but provided a cushion. Trevor VanSant reached on a dropped third strike that would have ended the inning. Young beat out a grounder to short and Williams had an RBI single up the middle for a 3-2 advantage.
Clark walked to load the bases and Bethel cleared them with a double to left-center to make it a four-run margin.
“Put some really good at-bats together,” Anderson said. “We felt confident after last game against The Colony, that’s the team in first with a hard thrower and we had good at-bats we thought would carry over.”
The Raiders had tied the game in the top of the inning when Collen Covington singled, was sacrificed to second, moved to the third on a groundout and scored on a two-out wild pitch.
Sherman took a 2-1 lead in its first turn at-bat. Brennan Boyd hit Williams to start the inning and walked Clark. They moved up on a wild pitch before Bethel’s sacrifice fly near the right-field line.
Clark tagged up on the play and scored on Fine’s groundout to third to put the Bearcats in front.
Wylie East jumped to a quick lead two batters into the game. Dorethy hit a high chopper near second base and beat it out for an infield hit. Sam Harris laid down a sacrifice and Dorethy continued on to third base.
The throw across the diamond was high and he scampered home on the error for the 1-0 advantage.
Wylie East 3