The Shawnee News-Star
  • Early deficit too much for Bethel baseball

  • A 6-2 hole after two innings led the Wildcats to a 7-4 loss to Chisholm in the semifinals of the Wildcat Classic on Friday.
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  • BETHEL – A rough two innings to start the game was too much for the Bethel Wildcats to overcome in a 7-4 loss to Chisholm in the semifinals of the Wildcat Baseball Classic Friday.
    The Wildcats (13-13) gave up six runs over the first two innings, falling into a 6-2 deficit they couldn’t get out of.
    “Any time you’ve got windy conditions, the team that makes less mistakes is going to win,” Bethel head coach Todd Brown said. “We got too far down against good competition.”
    The Longhorns (18-7) scored four runs in the first inning, taking advantage of two errors and a hit batter. Braden Atkinson had a bunt single that drove in a run and Jordon Langton drove in two more with a long home run to left centerfield that made it 4-0.
    The Wildcats countered with two of their own in the bottom of the first. Brayden Diebold reached on a one-out walk and scored when Garret Fitzgerald’s sharp base hit to right field was misplayed. Brooks Richards followed with a double to left centerfield to score Fitzgerald.
    The Longhorns added two more runs in the second inning before Peyton Epperley was brought on in relief. Epperley wriggled out of a bases loaded jam to keep the score 6-2, then proceeded to hold Chisholm in check the rest of the game.
    Over the final five inning, Epperley gave up one run on three hits, striking out five.
    But Longhorn starter Luke Ball hung tough over the remainder of the contest. Bethel made it 7-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Clint Simmons drove in Caleb Smith with a base hit to left.
    Simmons drove in another run in the sixth with an infield single that scored Epperley. But the Wildcats left seven runners on base over the final five innings. Dillon Pettus worked a 1-2-3 seventh to put the Longhorns into the championship game.
    Bethel will play in the third place game on Saturday at 4 p.m. against either Jones or Perry.
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