Wildcats wrap up 5th straight region crown
by Donell Maxie
Apr 23, 2014 | 2296 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bolivar Commercial / Gail Bailey
Cleveland’s Dillon Norwood had a good day at the plate against Yazoo City by tagging two hits and driving in three runs to lead the Wildcats to a 10-3 win over Yazoo County Tuesday evening. The win gave Cleveland its fifth straight region title.
Bolivar Commercial / Gail Bailey Cleveland’s Dillon Norwood had a good day at the plate against Yazoo City by tagging two hits and driving in three runs to lead the Wildcats to a 10-3 win over Yazoo County Tuesday evening. The win gave Cleveland its fifth straight region title.
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For the fifth consecutive season, the Cleveland High Wildcats are region champions.

The most recent notch for the Wildcats came in the team's 10-3 win over the Yazoo County Panthers Tuesday at Sank Powe Field as they won the Region 3-4A Title.

The game would have been a road game, but heavy rains in Yazoo City on Monday and Tuesday led to the Panthers requesting to play the final region game in Cleveland.

The win improved to Wildcats to 17-8 overall with a 6-0 mark in the region. Yazoo fell to 7-9 overall with a 3-2 mark in region play.

Cleveland clinches a No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs scheduled for next week, while Yazoo wraps up a No. 2 seed.

Cleveland's Matt Hardman went the distance and picked up the win on the hill for the Wildcats. Hardman struck out six, gave up seven hits, a walk and one earned run.

For Cleveland High Head Coach Steve Wies the improvement of the team has been wonderful to watch and it seems to him that the team is clicking at the right time.

"This is the third game in a row where we saw pretty decent pitching,” Wies said. “We made some good contact. The Grenada game is the only game where we saw 13 strikeouts in the first five inning, but after that we were able to start putting the ball in play and fortunately that game we kept ourselves in the game and were able to tie it and come back and win. We played two more good games after that so we have some good momentum going at the right time of the year.”

Along with good hitting, the Wildcats have stepped their game up on the defensive side of the ball.

"Defense has been a sensitive area for us all year,” Wies said. “We hadn't fielded the ball real well or thrown the ball around real well or I should say we have thrown the ball around, but not where it should go. When we can limit ourselves to one or two errors a game, that's an improvement from what we did early in the season.”

In the win over Yazoo County the Wildcats committed only two errors and at the plate they blasted 10 hits.

Cleveland started the contest with two runs in the bottom of the first off a RBI double from Hardman. Dillon Norwood scored from third off a passed ball for a 2-0 lead.

The Wildcats added more runs in the bottom half of the second. Jordan Burchfield roped a RBI-single, and Norwood drilled a RBI-double to give Cleveland a 4-0 lead over Yazoo.

The Panthers refused to go away and in the top of the third things came alive for them. Jamari Brown led off with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and stole third.

Later in the inning, Tayln Shaffer socked a RBI-single for a 4-1 ball game. Michael Collum followed with a RBI single to close the gap to 4-2. With two outs in the book, the Panthers managed to bring in another run when Tyler George hit a RBI single for a 4-3 game.

Trailing by one with a runner at first and second, Hardman pulled off a great pick off move at second to end the rally.

Cleveland followed up by scoring four runs in the bottom of the third with Norwood spanking a two-run double to help Cleveland take an 8-3 lead. Two more runs in the sixth inning gave the Wildcats a 10-3 lead and that would be all they needed to secure the victory.

Norwood led the Wildcats at the plate with two hits and three RBI, followed by Burchfield with two hits and two RBIs, Trace Edwards with two hits and one RBI and Nick Cocilova and Hardman with a hit and RBI each.

Taylor Nash and Shaffer led Yazoo with two hits each. Shaffer also had a RBI.