The Cassville community has been dealing with a ton of emotion this week after two Cassville High School students, 16 year-old brothers Mike and Larry Dickson, were tragically killed in an automobile accident over the weekend. Baseball served as a refuge for at least a handful of boys Tuesday night in Aurora. The Cassville Wildcats used timely hitting and solid defense to give Aurora (16-3; 4-1) its first loss in the Big 8 Conference this season.
"It's been an emotional week for us," said an emotional Jade Samborski, head coach of the Cassville Wildcats, after the 3-0 win. "We were able to come out here tonight and beat a very good team and that helps some for all of us. I got a little emotional after that final out."
Senior Noah Hadlow was the difference in this one, both on the mound and at the plate, as he pitched the complete game shutout for the Wildcats, allowing Aurora just two base hits. Couple that with a base hit and RBI and that would be plenty to improve Cassville to 3-2 in the Big 8 Conference and 12-5 overall.
"Credit Noah (Hadlow), most definitely," said Samborski, "but like in so many sports, the offensive line is vital and in baseball that's your catcher. Leigh Cox and Noah had a game plan prior to the start of the game and they executed it perfectly. Those two are the back bone of this team."
"Leigh (Cox) called a great game and we knew what we wanted to do against this team," Hadlow said. "Our game plan worked and it's a big win in the conference and for our confidence. This one is for Mikey and Larry."
Cassville scored a single run in the top of the second inning on a single from Alex Vanderpool, plating Hadlow, who had reached on an error. The Wildcats added a second run in the top of the third on Hadlow's single to right field. An insurance run in the top of the seventh made it 3-0 and Cassville was able to squelch a rally in the bottom of the seventh after Aurora got runners to first and third with two outs, but a pop-up gave the Wildcats the conference win.
Aurora's two hits were singles from Matthew Miller and Eric Shoenberger. Pitcher Zac Shoemaker suffered his first loss of the season, now 7-1, pitching all seven innings, striking out six and giving up six base hits.
The Wildcats finished with six hits, all singles, from Hadlow, Jeremiah Fisher, Cox, Zane Everett, Gilbert Medina and Vanderpool.
Cassville – 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 – 3
Aurora – 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 0