The Watson Chapel Wildcats (12-7, 7-3) took two games over the Pine Bluff Zebras (7-9, 5-5) at Taylor Field on Tuesday.
The doubleheader was pivotal to the 5A Central standings, as both teams entered Tuesday locked in a three-way tie for third place. The Wildcats cruised to a 19-2 win in game one, and in game two they beat the Zebras 7-2.
The Wildcats only needed five innings to mount a 17-run win over Pine Bluff in game one. The Wildcats ensured that game one would only go five by scoring eight runs in the fifth inning.
Pine Bluff starting pitcher Rod Stinson Jr. held his own through two innings. Heading into the third inning, Watson Chapel held a slim 2-1 lead. However, in the top of the fourth, Pine Bluff Head Coach Ryan Stinson decided to make a pitching change as the Wildcats began to increase their lead.
In the third, an RBI by Wildcats junior Markevian Hence got them going. That was followed up by a three-run homer by Watson Chapel junior Randy Little Jr. Still, with one out, Wildcats junior Daniel Koonce singled to right field for an RBI to make it 7-1.
Stinson recorded a home run in the bottom of the third, but the Wildcats answered with four runs in the top of the fourth to ultimately force the pitching change.
Watson Chapel junior Gabe Starks recorded a three-run home run in the top of the fifth to stretch the Wildcats’ lead further. Koonce then recorded two more RBI’s on a double out to center field.
Two hit-by-pitch calls and two walks helped the Wildcats score four more runs to make this one a run away.
From the third to the fifth inning, the Wildcats scored 17 of their 19 runs.
Starks and Little both had two hits apiece and four RBI’s each to combine for eight. Koonce recorded three hits and three RBI’s.
Starks pitched four innings and recorded nine strikeouts.
In game two, the Zebras were able to score two runs early to take a lead, but the Wildcats put together a couple of three-run innings to take control.
Starks recorded four of Watson Chapels 10 hits, including a double to right field in the first inning for their first run of the game.
After the second inning, Pine Bluff led Watson Chapel 2-1. Wildcat pitcher Little got the start, and two wild pitches allowed those two runs to score for Pine Bluff.
However, Little responded with a monster performance, retiring 10 out the next 12 batters he faced before Watson Chapel Head Coach Chad Cope decided to make a pitching change in the sixth inning.
Five different Wildcats recorded RBI’s, led by Hence and Little with two apiece. In the top of the sixth, Hence singled to left field to allow Wildcats seniors Tyler McBride and Tyler Brown to score from second and third.
Starks recorded four of Watson Chapels 10 hits, including a double to right field for their first run of the game.
Pine Bluff has a home non-conference game against the Woodlawn Bears on April 19.
Watson Chapel has an away non-conference game against Cabot on April 22.