Purple puts bite on 'Dogs
SLATER -- Slater built a 9-0 lead through four innings and coasted the rest of the way for an 11-6 non-conference victory over Harrisburg during the Wildcats' home finale Wednesday.
Senior Andy Boggs had five RBIs, driving in a run on each trip to the plate, to lead the Purple -- which took advantage of five Bulldog errors. Senior John Jackson tossed four scoreless innings for his second win.
Singles by senior Britt Smith and sophomore Colter Doherty and Boggs' grounder produced a run in the bottom of the first inning, but Slater did most of its damage during a six-run third frame.
A walk, Smith's single and a hit batter loaded the bases for Boggs -- who delivered single to plate two runners, a third scoring when the ball was thrown away. Boggs later came in on a wild pitch. The 'Cats weren't done, though. Another walk and booted grounder resulted in another run and junior Nick Palmgren capped the rally with an RBI single.
Senior Dustin Hays walked and took home on the back end of a double steal after Smith reached on an error in the fourth to make it 9-0. Boggs knocked in a run with a single, but then was picked off second base with one out -- spoiling a chance for Slater to put an early end to the contest.
That made for a slight degree of tension when Harrisburg drew a pair of walks and got infield singles from sophomore Dusty Lewis and senior Casey Arnold with one out in the fifth. When junior Weston Perkins' two-out fly ball to right field was misplayed into a double, the final two of the 'Dogs' four runs trotted home.
The 'Cats got half of them back during their next turn on a walk, botched fielder's choice, Hays' RBI single and a bases-loaded pass to Boggs. However, sophomore Kyle Fisher struck out the next two batters to leave the bags packed.
Hays relieved in the sixth and promptly gave up singles to freshman Eric Harmon and senior Zach Vim, an error and sacrifice fly bringing those runners in. Hays also surrendered a pair of singles in the seventh, but induced a bouncer to senior Chas Harris at third base for a game-ending force out.
Fisher and Vim each had two hits and Perkins knocked in two runs for the Bulldogs (5-7).
The top four in Slater's batting order -- Hays, Smith, Doherty and Boggs -- combined to go six of 11 at the plate and scored seven runs. The 'Cats (5-7) are scheduled to close out the regular season today at Sweet Springs.