Senior sparks ’Cats past Lancers

WATERFORD – Devon Patterson had one of those games that he will not forget for quite some time Monday evening as he led the Waterford Wildcats to a wild 11-8 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division victory over the visiting Federal Hocking Lancers.

Patterson went a perfect four-for-four at the plate, knocked in four runs and came on to earn a save in the last of the seventh inning to secure the Wildcats first conference victory of the season.

Patterson entered the game in relief of starting pitcher Josh Schaad with a pair of runners on base and the tying run at the plate with no one out in the top of the seventh inning and promptly put the brakes on the Lancer rally.

The senior right hander fanned the first batter he faced and after issuing a walk to Devon Maxy he got Zach Engle to line out to third base for what turned out to be a game ending double play.

“Josh (Schaad) pitched the best game he has pitched all year,” said Patterson. “He put us in position to win and I was just able to finish it for him.”

Early on it appeared that the green and white might just pull out an easy victory as they jumped all over the Lancers for seven runs in the first three innings to claim a 7-2 lead.

The Lancers came charging back thanks to a two-run home run by Chris Baker and five Waterford errors to trim the lead to 7-6 heading to the sixth inning.

Federal Hocking got a clutch two-out, run-scoring double off the bat of John Rose in the top of the sixth to tie the score at 7-7.

Waterford wasted little time recapturing the lead in the last of the sixth as their first five base runners of the inning reached base.

Cody Paxton and Patterson got the inning started with back-to-back singles before Brendan Dailey drew a base on balls to load the bases.

Freshman Cameron Bosner singled sharply to left to give the Wildcats the lead before Kyle Miller reached base on a rare catcher’s interference call and Daulton Shriver grounded into a fielder’s choice to make it a 10-7 game.

Brent Ginther’s ground out plated the fourth and final run of the inning, sending the Wildcats to the seventh inning with an 11-7 lead.

“We had a good lead and we let them get back into it with a few miscues,” lamented Waterford head coach Chad Augenstine. “Our boys just decided that no matter what tonight they weren’t going quit and we came right back there in the sixth.”

Federal Hocking quickly mounted a seventh inning threat off of Schaad as Steven Coen, Terrance Mayle and Delbert Crum strung together three consecutive hits to close the lead to three.

Augenstine elected to replace the lefty Schaad with the hard throwing Patterson who had been playing left field.

Patterson proved to be up to the task as he put out the fire and gave the Wildcats a much needed conference victory.

“That was a great outing again by Josh Schaad, he has turned into a work horse for us,” said Augenstine. “He just kind of ran out of gas and Devon came in there and got a huge save for us.”

The win improved the Wildcats record to 3-9, while the Lancers dropped to 7-7 with the defeat.

The Cats will be right back on the diamond this afternoon as they host Wood County Christian in a non-conference battle while Fed Hock travels to Parkersburg South on Wednesday.

SOFTBALL

The Waterford Lady Wildcats were unable to overcome five fielding errors Monday as they dropped a 7-5 TVC Hocking Division contest to Federal Hocking.

Five of the seven runs scored by the Lady Lancers off of Waterford starting pitcher Laura Hill were unearned including two each in the third and fourth innings that proved to be the demise of the Lady ‘Cats.

The Lancers grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a single by Carly Tabler and a ground out by left fielder Charley Cobb.

The Lady ‘Cats claimed their first lead of the night when Janelle Pugh drilled a two-run homer to straight away center field to give Waterford a 2-1 lead.

Fed Hock took advantage of three Waterford errors in the top of the third to move back in front by a 3-2 margin and Tabler’s two-run, fourth inning triple increased the lead to 5-2.

The Lady Wildcats cut the lead to one in the last of the fourth when Cierra Heiss tripled in Pugh and Hill helped herself with an RBI double to close the lead to 5-4. The Lancers got an insurance run in the top of the fifth on an RBI double by catcher Kirstan Young, but an RBI single in the bottom off the fifth by Waterford shortstop Jayde Heiss closed the lead back to one at 6-5.

The combination of Tabler and Cobb proved productive once again in the top of the sixth inning as Tabler led off with a single and came all the away around to score when Cobb’s single was misplayed by the Wildcat out field.

Ashton Cale, the Lancer starting pitcher took over from there as she retired six of the final seven Wildcat hitters and Federal Hocking came away with a big conference win. Cale scattered 10 Waterford base hits to claim the victory, while Hill also yielded 10 base hits while striking out five to suffer the defeat.

Waterford fell to 7-7 on the season with the loss while the Lady Lancers improved to 6-6. The Lancers will host Adena today while the Lady Wildcats will travel to Eastern for a conference match up with the Eagles on Wednesday.