Cooter baseball team beats Gideon/Risco 7-4 for 12th district title in 13 years
COOTER, Mo. - Although it was not the prettiest of wins, it was a win, says Cooter head baseball coach David Mathis. The Cooter Wildcats hosted the Class 1, District 1 baseball tournament and grabbed the top trophy with a 7-4 victory over the Gideon Bulldogs Tuesday, afternoon.
Despite four errors and numerous other near-error mishaps and a handful of baserunning mistakes, the Wildcats outhit the Bulldogs 7-4 and came away with their twelfth district championship in 13 years.
“We hit the ball well, and we pitched it well enough to win. We had great at-bats today,” Mathis said after the game. “On the flip side, we had three baserunning mistakes. And then right there at the end, we weren’t fielding ground balls, which bothers me, because I hit thousands and thousands to them. It is what it is. We got a win, so we’ll move on to the next game. Hopefully, we got all that out of our system.”
As Coach Mathis noted, the pitching was excellent, as Cooter ace Dawson Treat went the distance on the hill, striking out eight and giving up two earned runs off four hits. He did not issue any walks. Treat was satisfied with his performance, but hopes he and his teammates will up the ante in sectional action.
“First inning, I felt alright, but I was a little wild. After that I felt pretty good,” Treat said. “The fifth inning I was still feeling strong, but by the seventh, I was feeling a little tired.”
When asked what Cooter must do against Oran in sectional play to secure a win, Treat said he and his teammates simply must stick to the fundamentals of the game.
“We have to hit the ball, pitch well and field the ball. That’s all there is to it.” he said. “On the mental side, we just have to be tough and get in the game.”
In the batter’s box, Chris Crowder led the way with a pair of singles, one for an RBI. Senior first baseman Dalton Barron blasted a two-run bomb over the left field fence in the bottom of the fourth to give the ‘Cats a four-run 6-2 lead. Treat helped his own cause with a triple, and Layton Robinson and Jacob Watkins swatted a double each. Catcher Lane McLevain smacked a single for the Wildcats.
“In light of the mental mistakes the Wildcats made, Mathis says the pressure of playing well at the end of a big game is substantial.
“That can be tough on the kids, making sure they make the plays in pressure situations,” he said. “It seems the first and seventh innings are the hardest to get through for kids. But, we battled, and we got a win.”
Cooter plays a Class 1 sectional at Oran Monday at 4 p.m.
Oran beat Bell City 8-1 in the Class 1, District 2 championship May 15.