Wolverines extend playoff run with 9-3 win

Published 5:29 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

by Jason Picher
The Wolverines put nine runs on the board to beat the visiting Smoky Mountain Mustangs on Tuesday night at Polk County and advance to the third round of the 2A state playoffs.

The Mustangs brought a strong team to the field, but the Wolverines, lead by Lucas Cashs three run HR in the second inning, made it hard for the Mustangs to stay in the game.
The Mustangs started off with a couple of walks to get some runners on base in the first inning, but Polks Roberto Taft turned a double play off a well hit ground ball to help eliminate the threat and get Polk out of the inning.
Soon after the Wolverines got two outs, the Mustangs came back with a two-run home run to go up 2-0. Polk outfielder Joel Booker quickly got into position on a ball hit to center field to make the play and finish the inning.
As the Wolverines prepared to head to the plate in the bottom of the inning, Polk coach Ty Stott told his players, “Put the barrel on the ball.”
His players listened, delivering three singles by Clint Harris, Roberto Taft, and Danny Fraga to load the bases. It was Joel Bookers walk with the bases loaded that scored a run to tie the game and load the bases once again. With the bases full of Wolverines, it was Tyler Philpotts turn at bat, and he hit a single that brought two runs home.
Lucas Cash then cracked a ball over the center field wall with a three run home run to make the score 7-2.
“I just have to get the barrel on the ball and drive it; Im thinking its like Im at practice in the batting cage,” said Cash after the game. He finished the night 2-for-4 with a HR and 4 RBIs.
Yet the game wasnt finished when the Mustangs brought their left handed pitcher Mark Thompson in to stop the Wolverines hitters with his unusual delivery. He struck out the first the three batters in the fourth and really kept the Wolverines on their toes.
It was then time for the Wolverines to answer back when Coach Stott decided to use Cash in the fifth to finish the game out in relief for Brandon Jolley. Cash took care of business when he struck out five in three innings.
Roberto Taft went 2-for-3, Joel Booker was 1-for-2 with two RBIs, and Brandon Jolley pitched four solid innings to add to his record win total for the Wolverines.
“We really got it done with our bats tonight. Its nice when we get hits early and can move them into scoring position,” said coach Stott. “Now that were in the third round, it gets serious.”
The Wolverines have reached the third round of the state playoffs four times in the last four years, although this year they are doing it at the 2A level after moving up from 1A last year.
The Wolverines will use their playoff experience against Wilkes Central in the third round tonight. Wilkes is a No. 1 seed from the Mountain Valley Conference.

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