Wildcats redeem selves on roadApril 19, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
LINCOLN CITY - Jasper earned itself a bounce back win Monday night.
The Wildcats (7-1) paid a visit to Heritage Hills, and the team's big bopper, junior Connor Foley, went deep for his fourth home run of the season. His two-run shot scored senior Eli Hopf, who led off the top of the fourth, to make it 5-0 against the Patriots (2-8) on the way to a 9-2 win.
"I'm a big guy," Foley said. "I'm 6'5 and I think I use my power and a quick bat. I think, with pitchers (junior Gus Sandoval) like this, you just got to stay back and hit the ball."
"His biggest thing as a hitter is he's going to be pitched carefully," Jasper coach Terry Gobert said. "And if he goes up there swinging at pitches that bounce or over his head, he's going to get chewed up, but when he has a good approach at the plate and hitting right now as well as he's hitting - when he gets that pitch, that's one you got to hit."
Jasper rolled out junior Chris Hedinger onto the mound to start the game. The Pats got their opportunities against Hedinger, but could not translate anything into runs. They left multiple runners on base in each of the first three innings, and loaded the bases with in the bottom of the second with one out. However, Hedinger got out the jam, leaving Heritage Hills empty handed.
"I don't know if we were ready to hunt fastballs up at the plate," Pats coach Andy Fischer said. "It'd have been nicer to be a little bit more aggressive in that situation, and not getting out into the hole and into the counts there."
This loss gave the Pats their season-high fourth defeat in a row. Still, Fischer felt like his players competed, as they scored both of their runs in the bottom of the seventh - capitalizing off of a couple of Jasper errors. He feels they're going in the right direction because they never laid over and never stopped competing.
Heritage Hills is bound to be tested this week, since Monday's game was the first of four consecutive days with a game, and the Pats will also have a Saturday game at home against Loogootee for five in one week. Fischer thinks it's a big week for the team, and he envisions some growing up happening during this week.
The Pats will try to end their skid Tuesday at Pocket Athletic Conference rival Pike Central.
"I think (junior) JT (Smallwood) has got to come out on the mound, and be pounding the zone - and own the strike zone," Fischer said. "I think we got to continue to have good approaches at the plate, and right now, our biggest miscues are giving up some timely errors. We just got to be ready, and we got to make some plays."
There were nine errors committed in this game, with the Pats committing five of them, and Jasper having four errors of its own. Despite the win, Gobert said the Wildcats made too many mistakes - as they bounced their throws too many times on defense. He did not like Jasper's batting practice or the way it looked in the infield before the game. Gobert is hoping the Wildcats will play with a better approach.
They began the season 6-0, and will try to build off of Monday's win on Tuesday at Southern Indiana Athletic Conference rival Evansville Reitz, but there's also more to it than that.
"If they truly think it's all about winning or losing, then they're wrong," Gobert said. "Otherwise, I'd be ecstatic right now, right? I'd be going, 'Alright, another victory!' I just don't want to put ourselves in that spot. We just can't keep making those mistakes. When a team hits a double play ball, you got to turn two."
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