MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The 2017 SSAC Baseball Championship, presented by Newk's Eatery opened Wednesday morning with the Bethel Wildcats meeting the Mobile Rams in game one of the championships. The match-up featured two teams going in opposite directions entering the tournament. No. 5 seeded Bethel won five of their last six games of the regular season while No. 4 seeded Mobile entered the event losing five straight games to close out their regular season.
The Rams would snap that losing streak with a 9-2 win over the Wildcats.
The Rams jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a two-out home run by Cody Cox in the first. Noberto Torres singled in two run in the third to make it 3-0 Mobile.
The Wildcats scored in the bottom of the third when Clayton Parker drove in Jack Surber with a one out single.
Bethel struck again in the bottom of the fourth to pull within 3-2 on a RBI fielder's choice ground out by Christian Padin.
The Rams had back to back doubles in the seventh to go ahead 4-2. After a one-out double by Cory Wheaton, Cox drove in his second run of the game with a double down the right-field line. Billy Price had replaced starter Trevor Bishop after the Wheaton double. A two-out triple by Joseph Barnett drove in Cox to make it 5-2 Mobile.
Mobile blew the game open with a three-run homer by Wheaton in the eighth pushing the Rams ahead 8-2.
Logan Palmer singled in a run in the ninth to give the Rams the seven run victory.
The Rams outhit the Wildcats 13-5. Trevor suffered the loss while Lukas Young picked up the Mobile win.
The Wildcats fell to 27-21 on the season. Mobile (RV) moved to 34-17.
Bethel faces No. 8 Loyola Friday at 1 p.m.
The four-day, double-elimination tournament is taking place at Paterson Field, with the championship game set for 1:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. Saturday, depending on how many "if necessary" games are needed.