WHITEHOUSE — Postgame celebrations are nothing new for Whitehouse baseball, which has been one of the area’s most consistent programs for quite some time.
One type of celebration, however, has managed to elude the Wildcats for many years — an outright district title.
But that changed Friday night when Whitehouse claimed one for the first time since 1998. And the Wildcats did so in style, scoring 11 runs in the second inning to beat Marshall, 16-0, in five.
“We are so young,” said Whitehouse coach Derrick Jenkins, whose squad has only four seniors. “When we came into the year we didn’t know what to expect. But we have such a great team. They work hard and play hard.”
The numbers back that up.
So much so, the Wildcats have won 15 consecutive games and will carry records of 22-4 overall and 12-1 into their District 14-4A finale against Kilgore next Friday night.
Marshall fell to marks of 2-19 and 2-11.
The fact the Wildcats went so long without a solo title is surprising, perhaps.
“Especially when considering all the kids who have come through here and played pro ball,” Jenkins said. “It’s hard to believe.”
The list of former Wildcats includes Josh Tomlin, a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians who went 12-7 last season. Tomlin earned his first victory of 2012 on Thursday against the Seattle Mariners, allowing five hits and striking out seven in eight innings of work.
The Wildcats followed that strong outing with one of their own.
Whitehouse almost batted around twice in the second, scoring the 11 runs on seven hits and two errors. The explosion coincided with a strong pitching performance by Ryan Cheatham, who carried a no-hitter into the fifth before giving up and infield single.
Cheatham helped his cause at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a double and four RBIs. The Wildcats also got a strong offensive performance from Alex Rostis, who finished 2 for 2 with a triple and three RBIs.
The other RBIs were recorded by Michael Nuon, Aaron Clemons and Derek Clemons (two).
Brandon Bilnoski had the only hit for Marshall, which wasn’t able to push any runs across despite loading the bases in the fifth.
Whitehouse entered the night with a piece of the district title already locked up, thanks to a two-game lead over Hallsville and a three-game advantage over Pine Tree and Nacogdoches.
Whitehouse’s last loss was 5-0 to Hallsville in mid-March. The other losses have come to Lufkin Hudson (3-2), Longview (6-4) and Mount Pleasant (4-3).
The Wildcats scored an impressive 9-3 win against Pine Tree on Tuesday.
Whitehouse is scheduled to host Corsicana in a warmup game Saturday, April 28. The Wildcats were eliminated from the 2011 postseason by eventual state qualifier Mesquite Poteet.
Marshall is scheduled to host Texas High at noon today. The Mavericks complete the season next Friday against Pine Tree.
District 14-4A Baseball
Whitehouse 16, Marshall 0 (5)
Marshall 000 00 — 0 2 3
W’house 570 0x — 16 11 1
Kason Box, Josh Cole (2) and Cameron Hill; Ryan Cheatham, Jake Parker (5) and Derek Clemons, Peyton Conser (5); W — Cheatham; L — Box. 2B — W: Cheatham. 3B — W: Alex Rostis.
RECORDS — Marshall 2-19 (2-11); Whitehouse 22-4 (12-1).
NEXT UP — Texas High at Marshall, noon today; Whitehouse at Kilgore, 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 27.