'Cats Are Champs At Odessa Baseball Tourney


The Wildcats are off to a hot 5-1 start in 2024 and have started their trophy collection for the season after recently staking claim to a first place finish at the Odessa Tournament over the weekend.

Warsaw's championship win came over the host Odessa Bulldogs in a tight 2-1 game on Saturday afternoon.

Both teams were strong on the bump but it was the Wildcats' Josh Bunch who prevailed in the win. The junior gave up just 1 run on 3 hits in 6 innings of work while retiring 9 by way of the K.

After 1 base on balls followed by back-to-back singles, Odessa got on the board in the bottom of the first when Bunch issued a bases loaded walk to make the score 1-0. The next three batters went down in order as the 'Cats defense avoided giving up a big inning.

The second inning went scoreless but the 'Cats broke the seal in the third when Jase Hubert led off the inning with an infield single. In the next at-bat, Hubert swiped second and then, with 1 out, Garrett Ferguson singled on another hard ground ball to the shortstop. Hubert scored on an error by the Bulldogs first baseman to make it 1-1.

With Ferguson standing on second, Jayce Depriest was hit by a pitch and then, with 2 outs, Logan Gemes singled on another ground ball. Ferguson rounded third and headed for home to score safely and had all they would need for the 2-1 final.

Odessa drew 2 bases on balls in the bottom of the third but that threat was halted when Bunch got a fly out and a strikeout to end the inning.

The fourth, fifth and sixth innings saw both sides go down in order.

In the seventh, Warsaw went 1-2-3 again. Odessa drew a leadoff walk in the frame but Ryan Fajen, in relief of Bunch, induced a 6-4-3 double play and a groundout ended the game, earning the Wildcats the 2-1 win and the first place trophy.

Gemes had 2 hits and 1 RBI for Warsaw while 1 hit apiece was contributed by Ferguson, Hubert and Kendall Bagley.
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Earlier on Saturday, the Lexington Minutemen proved no match for the Wildcats as they rolled to an 18-3 win.

After surrendering 1 run in the top of the first, the Wildcats took the lead and never looked back by plating 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the first frame.

Lexington added 1 more in the top of the second but Warsaw exploded for 9 runs on 10 hits in the bottom of the inning. Jase Hubert and Bradley Watson both had had 2 singles in the inning while 1 each came off of the bats of Garrett Ferguson, Kendall Bagley, Logan Gemes, Josh Bunch, Reese Maxwell and Drake Murrell to blow things open at 12-2 after two.

Lexington put 1 more on the board in the top of the third, but Warsaw plated 3 more runs in each of the third and fourth innings for the 18-3 mercy rule win.

The Warsaw offense was fueled by Watson, Gemes, Bunch and Hubert who all collected 3 hits. Ferguson, Bagley, Maxwell and Murrell each finished the day with 2 hits.

Maxwell earned the win on the mound. He yielded 3 runs on 3 hits while striking out 9 in 4.0 innings.
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Despite being outhit 12-5, Warsaw built a 4 run lead in the fourth inning and held off Richmond for a 6-5 win on Friday night.

After giving up 2 runs in the top of the first, Warsaw took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning when Bradley Watson scored on a sacrifice fly by Jayce Depriest,

Josh Harvath scored on a fielder's choice by Ryan Fajen and Garrett Ferguson singled, scoring both Josh Bunch and Kendall Bagley to make the score 4-2.

The Wildcats scored 2 more runs in the bottom of the fourth off of errors to stretch their lead to 6-2. Richmond tagged the Wildcats for 1 run in the sixth and 2 more in the seventh but the Wildcats hung on to take the 6-5 victory.

Ferguson led Warsaw with 2 hits while 1 each was added by Bunch, Logan Gemes and Jase Hubert.

Ferguson also got the win on the mound by going 6.0 innings. He gave up 3 runs on 10 hits and struck out 3 before giving way to Fajen and Bagley in relief.
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The Wildcats traveled to Buffalo on Tuesday for their Ozark Highlands Conference opener. Their next home game is/was scheduled for Wednesday when they host Lincoln. They'll also be at home when on Thursday when Stockton comes to town. Both of those games are slated for a 5:00 PM first pitch.