Rector picks up second win in 8-7 slugfest
In a slugfest Saturday afternoon, big innings offensively by Rector were the difference in an 8-7 win over Marked Tree in high school baseball action. Rector (2-4) scored one run in the first inning, four runs in the second, and three runs in the fourth to cap the Cougar scoring. Marked Tree (2-4) answered with two runs in the first, three runs in the second, and one run in the third to cap their scoring.
In the top of the first inning, Rector's bats came alive when their first two batters reached base. The Cougars led the game off with a hard hit back up the middle.
That hit was followed by an RBI double by leftfielder Nathan Connor, which gave Rector a 1-0 lead. However, key defensive plays by Marked Tree leftfielder James David Massey ended the Rector run.
Marked Tree answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning, with good solid baseball. After a Shea Harris walk, Marked Tree centerfielder Tommy Concannon belted a double in the left-center field gap, driving home Harris. Concannon later scored on a wild pitch, giving Marked Tree a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the second, freshmen Andy Lung, making his first real start of the year for Marked Tree, was shelled. Rector scored four runs, with four hits, on two critical MT errors. Rector was led by third baseman Bryan Arnold, who belted a one out, two run double and another single who beat out an infield hit to score a run.
In the bottom of the second, Marked Tree hammered Rector pitcher Billy Scott, with three runs on three hits. Marked Tree led the inning off with a bang, when James David Massey blasted a solo home run to left field, onto Liberty Street.
After a Daniel Craig walk and a Roger Bickerstaff single, Shea Harris hit a two out, two run double into right-center field. Harris' double tied to the game at five, after just two innings.
Marked Tree took a 6-5 game in the third inning, with a Tommy Concannon solo home run near the same spot where Massey's home run landed. However, Rector's bats came alive again in the fourth.
The run started when the Cougar centerfielder was hit by a pitch with one out. Rector later reached base on a walk, four MT errors, and a bunt single to take an 8-6 lead.
Marked Tree made an attempt at a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, scoring one run on a Jared Gillis single. However, Rector stopped the comeback with a 1-2-3 performance by relief pitcher Derek Carter.
After the game, Marked Tree head baseball coach Andy Stallings told Delta Life that while his team's batting has improved since the opener against AAA team Trumann, pitching and defense has been a concern. He said, "We have worked hard and improved our batting since the beginning of the year. However, our defense is letting us down."
On Friday, Marked Tree lost another backbreaker, against AAA team Gosnell 12-4. Gosnell scored 10 runs late in the game to pick up the win. Marked Tree was led by Shea Harris and James David Massey, who each went 3-4.