Edgewood needed to find some special performances to pull off its first-round upset of Hooper last week. The Wildcats looked to Cade Bazzell on the mound and at the plate and he delivered to send the Wildcats into the quarterfinals. He is the Elmore County Player of the Week.
Bazzell took the mound for Edgewood in Game 1 and shut down the opponents across six innings. He allowed only two hits and one earned run while striking out nine during the Wildcats’ 14-1 win.
“He’s been really impressive on the mound lately,” Edgewood coach Joey Potts said. “We were really confident in him getting that first game. That is something that has grown more and more with every outing.”
While he controlled the game on the mound, Bazzell came through with his bat during some key moments to extend Edgewood’s lead. His first big hit of the series came in a six-run fourth inning when Bazzell’s two-run single put the Wildcats ahead 7-0. He added another two-run single during a four-run sixth inning which helped close the game in six innings.
“When he’s swinging the bat well, our team is at a different level,” Potts said. “When there are guys on base, we have that confidence in him to get things done.”
Hooper took its first lead of the series in the top of the first inning of Game 2. However, Edgewood responded with three first inning runs, including another RBI single from Bazzell.
Bazzell got his lone extra-base hit of the week during the sixth inning of Game 2 and added another RBI as the Wildcats added five more runs to win 11-1 in six innings.
“He’s always been a good hitter,” Potts said. “It’s not about anything we’ve done for him or said to him. It’s about the confidence he has in himself and when you see that, he can step up when we need him.”
Bazzell led the team with six RBIs during the series, four of them coming with two outs. All of his hits came in innings where the Wildcats scored multiple runs.
“When you can extend an inning and add runs when you extend the inning, that’s huge,” Potts said. “It can take away momentum from the other side and keep it in your own dugout.”
Prior to the playoff series, Edgewood split in two high-scoring games against Glenwood and Ezekiel. The Wildcats averaged 12 runs per game during the week with Bazzell leading the way.
Bazzell finished the week with five hits in 12 at bats, recording at least one RBI with each hit. His batting average with runners in scoring position was .714 during the week and he led the team with seven RBIs while striking out just once.