Bobcats rally comes up short

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By Goose Lindsay

The Oliver Springs Bobcats rallied from five runs down twice to force extra innings Monday evening in their District 4-A showdown with Wartburg, but the rally went for naught as the Bulldogs scored a run in the top of the ninth inning and held on for a 9-8 victory.

The first three innings of Monday’s game was a pitching duel between Wartburg’s Matt Smith and Oliver Springs’ Cary Gann, but that changed in the top of the fourth inning as the Bulldogs parlayed three hits and two walks into four runs.

Wartburg used two more hits and another walk in the top of the fifth inning to score again, making the score 5-0.

Oliver Springs’ offense didn’t do much in the first four innings of Monday’s game, but that all changed in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Bobcats put three runs on the board.

Kyle Coker got things going with a one-out walk and he moved up a base when a pitch hit Logan Crisp then the Bobcats put their first run on the board when Austin Jones singled. Matt Tinker also had an RBI single in the inning as the Bobcats closed to within 5-3.

Oliver Springs’ momentum didn’t carry over into the top of the sixth inning as the Bulldogs took advantage of two critical Bobcat errors to score three more runs and take a seemingly safe 8-3 lead.

Oliver Springs, however, still wouldn’t go away. 

With one out and none on in the bottom of the sixth inning, Alex Kelley walked and that was followed by five straight singles from Tyler Bowling, Coker, Crisp, Dakota Thompson and Taylor Coleman to make the score 8-7 entering the final inning.

After holding the Bulldogs scoreless in the top of the frame, the Bobcats opened he bottom of the seventh with a bang as Gann blasted a 2-1 pitch over the fence in right-center to tie the score at 8-8.

It then appeared the Bobcats would win the game as Bowling doubled, Coker walked and Crisp reached on a dropped third strike to load the bases for the Bobcats with one out.

Oliver Springs, however, failed on a pair of squeeze attempts then a strikeout and ground out sent the game into extra innings.

Neither team scored in the eighth inning, but Wartburg took advantage of Oliver Springs’ fifth error of the night to score the eventual game winning run in the top of the ninth inning.

Oliver Springs went down in order in the bottom of the frame.

Coleman (3-4, 1 RBI) and Bowling (3-5, 2B, 1 run) had multiple hits on the day for Oliver Springs.

 The Bobcats and Bulldogs were set to conclude their season series Tuesday evening at Wartburg.