Cats Fall in Tournament Consolation Final
The Paris Wildcats advanced to the consolation final of the I-45 Classic held in Ferris and Palmer, but lost to Teague, 5-4, in the final game Saturday night. Paris (6-4) is scheduled to host Ferris Tuesday at Hub Hollis Field in the home opener before competing in a tournament at Bonham next weekend.
- Teague 5, Paris 4. The Cats, playing in Saturday’s consolation championship at Palmer, dug themselves a 0-4 hole after Teague plated 3 runs in the first and a single tally in the second, but Paris cut the lead in half, 4-2, with back-to-back doubles by Payton Barrios and Phillip Sikes and a bases-loaded walk in the third. The Cats missed a golden opportunity to score more runs in the inning when the Lions ended the rally with a pair of strikeouts. After Teague padded the lead to 5-2 with a run in the top of the sixth, Paris responded with a leadoff triple by Jack Kraft, RBI single by Drew Helberg, and an RBI groundout by Barrios, but the inning ended and the tournament time limit was reached. Jordan Williams started on the mound for Paris and was replaced by Philip Nance who tossed the final 4 innings in relief.
- Paris 5, Kemp 3. The Cats advanced to the consolation final Saturday with a semifinal win. Paris broke out of a 3-3 tie with a single run in the fifth inning and insurance tally in the sixth before time was called. Jordan Williams got the Cats off to a 2-1 lead with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the first. He also drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth on a groundout. Paris added single runs in the second and sixth without benefit of a hit. Junior lefty Drew Helberg picked up the win after pitching into the sixth inning. Freshman Phillip Sikes, who tripled to lead off the game, came on in relief and got the final two outs for the save.
- Paris 7, Bonham 3. The Wildcats created a 3-way tie in pool play with Bonham and Kaufman, but the Purple Warriors advanced as the top seed into the championship semifinals by virtue of a tiebreaker. Paris finished as the No. 2 seed, while Kaufman was No. 3. Sikes, Philip Nance, Kraft, and Helberg each had a pair of hits in the 11-hit attack. The Cats took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a passed ball and 2-out, RBI single by Nance. They widened the lead to 7-1 with 5 runs in the third. An RBI double by Kraft and RBI singles by Helberg and Conor Henry keyed the rally. Junior Kaden Callihan pitched the first 5 innings before being relieved by Williams to start the sixth.
- Kaufman 9, Paris 8. The Cats jumped out to a 5-1 lead before the bottom fell out in the third inning when the Lions plated 8 runs. Paris rallied to score 3 in the fourth but left the tying run stranded at third when a popup and groundout ended the threat. The game then ended early due to the tournament time limit. Sikes started on the mound before being relieved by Nance and Williams. Sikes had 2 hits in the game. Tyler Sanders had an RBI single in the 5-run second inning for Paris. Other runs in the inning were scored on 2 wild pitches, a passed ball, and a bases-loaded walk. Paris returned the favor in Kaufman’s third inning with 4 walks and a hit batter. It looked like the Cats might escape with further damage but a bases-loaded triple on an 0-2 pitch capped the rally.
- Paris 7, OCS 1. Paris opened the tournament behind Jake Clark’s complete-game 7-hitter. Catcher Payton Barrios was 3-for-3, while Sikes and Nances each collected 2 hits with 2 RBI. Jonathan Nichols also had 2 hits.