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Bobcats drop two in tourney

LEIGHTON — The Phil Campbell Bobcats surprised the rest of Franklin County by winning the 2012 Franklin County tournament at Vina last season.

The team had some success but ultimately failed to reach the playoffs.

This season the team is under new head coach Jonathan Raper, a teacher at Phillips High School in Bear Creek.

With the new coach in place and some young talent coming up through the ranks to add to the experienced older players, Phil Campbell seems poised to have a good year in 2013.

Things did not go their way quite so much Thursday when the Bobcats fell to the Central-Florence Wildcats 15-3 and the Wilson Warriors 3-2, but the team will surely be better off down the road after playing larger schools like the two 4As early in the season.

“We’ve got to learn to catch the ball, hit the ball decently well and learn how to pitch and catch,” Raper said. “If we can do that then we can play ball.”

It was fundamentals that led to the 15-3 loss at the hands of Central-Florence.

Even though starting pitcher Skylar Tackett did well on the mound for Phil Campbell, the defense backing him up committed several errors that led to the one-sided loss.

The Wildcats had a 5-0 lead by the midpoint of the second inning, with two of those coming off an error and a wild pitch.

The Bobcats seemed poised to make a comeback in the bottom of the second when they got on the board after a sacrifice bunt for a RBI by Ryan Scott.

Colton Baker followed suit with a RBI single to the gap between the second baseman and shortstop.

The rally stopped there for the moment, and Central-Florence added another insurance run to its lead in the top of the third.

It was the speed of Jamie Dorroh that gave the Bobcats their third and final run of the game.

The senior made his way to third base and managed to steal home on a wild pitch.

The score stood at 6-3 in the Wildcats’ favor, but the game was still up for grabs.

That is, until the top of the fourth. The Wildcats went on a tear and scored eight runs before the third out of the inning was recorded.

The score stood at 14-3, and that thought combined with the number of errors committed by Phil Campbell during the single inning was enough to keep them down in the game.

Things turned out much differently in the nightcap.

The Bobcats played much better baseball but were unable to pick up the win over Wilson.

Cameron Harris scored both runs of the contest for Phil Campbell.

The first came when he stole home plate on a wild pitch in the top of the first inning.

The second came in the top of the fourth when Clay Harris brought him in on a RBI single.

The Warriors had a 2-1 lead beforehand, and now the game was tied at 2-2 as the game entered the bottom of the fourth.

Wilson brought in one more run, which ended up being enough, as neither team scored in the final three innings of play.

“We played better D in the second game,” Raper said. “We made better plays, just not enough. We hit the ball, but we hit it right at them. We just need to make some plays  and catch some breaks.”