By Chuck Bailey
Connor Burton was named the starting pitcher for the East Webster Wolverines hosting the Wesson Cobras on April 26 and neither team could score in the first inning. The Cobras attacked first in the top of the second. Second baseman Quentin Munn hit to third and got a single. The ninth batter in the order for Wesson, right fielder Jacob Fischer, hit a ball to the center field wall that scored Munn and earned him a triple. Cobra catcher Paxton Cupit was walked and then stole second. As he was stealing second, Fischer scored to give Wesson a 2-0 lead. East Webster got out of the bottom of the second inning with two stranded runners. Wesson couldn’t manage a run in the top of the third. East Webster scored three in the bottom of the third to take the lead. Burton was walked. Catcher Codie Silver hit a fly ball out to right to give him a single and advance Burton to second. Senior first baseman Ty Hendrix bunted down the third base line and the ball was thrown in the dirt to first, allowing Hendrix to get to third and giving him two RBIs by scoring Burton and Silver. East Webster designated hitter Brennan Sparks singled and RBIed Hendrix to give the Wolverines a 3-2 lead. Wesson got out of the inning without any more damage. Wesson didn’t score in the top of the fourth. East Webster got another run in the bottom of the forth to pad its lead 4-2 when center fielder Austin McGinnis was walked and Burton had a sacrifice bunt to score McGinnis. Wesson countered back and tied it at four all in the top of the fifth with the help of shortstop Kaleb Skinner, who led off with a single. He and first baseman Josh Smith scored when Smith hit one through the East Webster pitcher that wound up in center field. Burton managed to get the rest of the side out. East Webster went three up and three down in the bottom of the fifth. East Webster Head Coach Wes Johnson sent in Hendrix for the relief to pitch in the top of the sixth, and he retired the side in the sixth and seventh innings. East Webster had opportunities to score but couldn’t plate a run in the final two regulation innings and this one went into extra innings tied at four. Neither team scored in the eighth. Wesson went ahead in the ninth 5-4 when left fielder Alex Smith led off with a single and was overthrown at first to advance to second. Alex Smith managed to get to third on a sacrifice fly by Munn. Fischer was thrown a wild pitch and Alex Smith was able to get across the plate. Hendrix for East Webster retired the rest of the order. East Webster went into the bottom of the ninth down 5-4. Wesson sent in relief pitcher Skinner, who retired the first East Webster batter. East Webster left fielder John Wofford Williams hit it through Skinner and was safe at first. Wesson got the next East Webster batter out. East Webster shortstop Tyler Doss was walked. McGinnis hit just past the Wesson Cobra first baseman to RBI Williams and the team were all tied 5-5. Dylan Henley, facing a 1-0 pitch, sent a drive through the Wesson second baseman, scoring Doss. The Wolves won game one 6-5 but had to travel to Wesson on Friday and lost a heartbreaker 1-0. That sent both teams back to Cumberland on Saturday for the rubber game and Wesson defeated East Webster 11-1 to advance to the semifinals of the Class 2A state baseball championship. East Webster had a great season and finished it with a record of 18-8 and 10-0 in district play.