May 9, 2014

Early surge lifts Cass past Mac

Kings' Wilburn shuts down the Braves.

By Rick Conrad For the Pharos-Tribune

---- — WALTON — Lewis Cass junior right-hander Jake Wilburn got the start on the mound for the Kings and through three innings proved to be very much in control of Maconaquah Thursday night.

Offensively, the Kings plated all 11 runs in the second and third innings to take control of the contest while going on to the 11-3 win in Walton.

“Whenever we put Jake on the mound we know we have a chance to win the ballgame. He’s a tiger out there and he battles,” Cass coach Greg Marschand said. “We know that when he gets the call he’s going to fight every batter he faces. We got hot at the right time tonight to help him out and get us the win.”

Wilburn went the distance for the Kings giving up three runs on six hits, walking four while striking out five. Cass outhit the Braves 14-6 in the game.

Cass threatened to score in the first inning when leadoff hitter Ryan Bixler reached on a walk. Bixler then took second on a sacrifice bunt by R.J. Phillips. Wilburn then flew out to center and Bixler tagged before advancing to third where he was left stranded.

Maconaquah then went quietly again in the second before the Kings scored their first two runs of the game behind a solo home run from Kyle Dwiggins and later when Brandon Carden scored Noah Byers with a base hit to make it 2-0 after two full.

Wilburn and the Kings defense were again too much for the Braves in the third when the visitors were once again set down without making any noise. When Cass came to the plate the wheels came off for Maconaquah as the Kings went for the throat and didn’t let up. The Kings plated nine runs in the inning off base hits from Wilburn Jake Miller, Carden and Phillips. Cass was also aided by doubles from Byers, Owen Ohman and Wilburn. Dwiggins also added a triple in the third inning. After three complete the Kings were in control 11-3.

Maconaquah could never get going against Wilburn but did threaten in the top of the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out. But the gritty junior buckled down, dug his heels in and disposed of the Braves without a runner crossing the plate in going on to the 11-3 win.

“I think I did OK out there tonight,” said Wilburn. “I don’t feel like I had my best stuff but the defense was behind me. We got our bats going and overall I think we did a pretty good job against them.”

The Kings were led by Carden with three base hits. Ohman went 2-for-3 with a single and a double while Wilburn, Miller, Dwiggins and Byers all went 2-for-4. Miller had two singles while Wilburn had a single and a double while Byers finished with two doubles. Dwiggins homered and added a triple in the win.

“Maconaquah is a strong team and this was a nice win for us,” Marschand said. “They have excellent bats and no holes in their lineup. Those kids go to the plate to hit the ball and we were fortunate to get hot when we did.”

The Kings (10-5, 2-2 Mid-Indiana Conference) evened up their MIC mark after a loss at conference leader Western Tuesday. Cass travels to Culver Academy tonight.