NEW HAVEN — Sometimes things start well and it sets a tone for the entire contest, but other times things just sort of fall apart. The Whitko Wildcats opened the 2012 baseball season with a trip to New Haven for a contest with the host Bulldogs. For the first two innings things went well with the Wildcats jumping out to a 2-0 lead, but in the third inning the Wildcats lost the lead and their starting pitcher. The Bulldogs registered a six-run outburst to send the Wildcats down to an 8-2 defeat.
The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, when pitcher Alex Stoddard drew a lead off walk, stole second and advanced to third when New Haven pitcher Kyle Sovine was called for a balk. Whitko shortstop Ethan Nicodemus drove in Stoddard with a double to right field.
The Wildcats put up their second run of the inning when Ryan Wiegold drew a walk and then got caught in a run-down between first and second. Nicodemus broke for home from third. There was a collision at the plate with Nicodemus rolling over the Bulldog catcher to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead after the top of the first inning.
Base running errors ended Bulldog rallies in the first two innings to help keep the Wildcats in front. In the top of the third, the Wildcats lost pitcher Stoddard for the game as his foot slid awkwardly over first base when he tried to beat out a play. The Bulldogs picked up two runs in the bottom of the third inning as they strung together four singles off reliever Wes Gensch.
The Wildcat offense generated only two base runners for the rest of the contest, and were able to notch only three hits for the game.
The Bulldogs chased Gensch in the bottom of the fifth inning with six runs. New Haven collected back to back doubles to start the inning and garner its first run. A fielder’s choice pushed across another. A walk and a two-run throwing error accounted for the Bulldogs' final 8-2 margin.
“The kids came out and had a great start,” said Wildcat Coach Erik Hisner. “We get a big hit to score a run; we execute a play to get another, and that’s the type of play we have to execute to score runs. I told the kids we played well for two or three innings, but we have got to put it together Wednesday against ’Busco.”