Bobcats' pitchers struggle against Wildcats


Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 11:34 p.m.

OCALA — Buchholz starter Phoenix Sanders didn't make it out of the second inning against District 1-7A rival Forest on Tuesday night as the Bobcats dropped a 6-2 decision to the Wildcats.

Sanders, who entered with a 5-1 record and a sparkling 0.36 ERA, allowed four runs on five hits before feeling some discomfort in this right forearm, forcing head coach Ron Brooks to play it safe with his ace.

“He had a little pull on his forearm, but it shouldn't be anything serious,” Brooks said of the junior right-hander. “But it wasn't a spot where we wanted to leave him out there and risk further damage. It just looks like a little forearm strain. We'll have him evaluated by the trainers (Wednesday). I think he'll be fine.”

Forest left-hander Anthony Mazzurco tossed a complete game as the Wildcats moved their district mark to 3-0 on the season. The senior scattered five hits and struck out four to remain perfect on the year with a 6-0 record.

Buchholz (13-5 overall, 1-2 in 7A-1) managed to load the bases and push across its second run of the game on Dakota Turner's seventh inning RBI single, but it was too little, too late for the Bobcats, who dug an early 5-0 hole.

Forest (15-2) blew it open in the second when the 'Cats sent nine men to the plate. Catcher Zach Davis and first baseman Richard Legasse each delivered RBI hits and Sam Armstrong's two-run single capped off the four-run frame.

Freshman Kirby McMullen hit his first varsity homer off reliever Fowler Brown in the third to push the lead to 5-0.

Center fielder Quinlan Washington's RBI single got the Bobcats on the board in the fifth, but Forest answered in the sixth when Josh Greene plated Davis with a solid RBI single.

“We have to come out and compete a little bit tougher than what we did,” Brooks said of the Bobcats' slow start. “It's a big ballgame and we came out a little flat tonight. But what I did like is that we stayed in the ballgame and kept battling.”

Buchholz gets another shot at Forest on Friday night when the Wildcats travel to Gainesville for the district rematch.

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