Cougars start season with rough patch

Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Tyler Small gets good extension as he hits a line drive up the middle into center during the Cougars home opener against Manila last Friday. (Democrat photos/Ryan Rogers)

The Rector Cougars were downed 6-5 by host Cross County in baseball action Monday at Cherry Valley.

Tony Loveless got the start and the loss for the Cougars. Loveless' case was hurt by two Rector fielding errors, as three of Cross County's six runs through his four innings were unearned. Jacob Hester and Jake Holcomb each worked an inning in relief. Neither allowed any hits.

The bats were lively for the Cougars, despite the loss. Rector had a total of 14 hits in the game.

Jacob Hester finished 3-4 with 3 RBIs in the game, capping a Cougar rally in the top of the fifth that saw the team climb back from a 6-2 deficit. He drove in Tyler Small and Sam Mangrum with a line drive to bring Rector within one, 6-5. Unfortunately, Cross County responded with defense and the Cougars would strand two baserunners in the top of the sixth.

Also hitting for Rector were Daniel Hester 2-3, Erik Shavalia 2-3, Small 2-4 with an RBI, Mangrum 2-4, Loveless 1-2 with a walk, Logan Buck 1-3 and Clarence Clark was 1-4 with an RBI.

"We got behind, but we kept our heads up," Cougar skipper Nate Henderson said. "We made some plays and did a good job hitting the ball. We kept ourselves in the game."

Rector fell to 0-4 on the season with loss.

Manila Game

Costly fielding errors hurt the Cougars as they played host to Manila this past Friday. Eight Rector errors led to nine unearned Manila runs as the Cougars fell 12-4 in five innings.

Holcomb got the loss in the contest, allowing seven runs in three inning. Only two of those runs were earned. Loveless worked two innings in relief, allowing two earned runs and three unearned. Jacob Hester closed out a scoreless sixth inning.

"We fell apart at the wrong time and they took advantage of it," Henderson said. "We have to do a better job on defense. It's hard to win a game when you have that many errors."

Jacob Hester led the Cougars at the plate, finishing 2-3 with an RBI. Also hitting for Rector were Loveless 1-2, Small 1-3 with an RBI double, Daniel Hester 1-3 with an RBI Shaw 1-3 with an RBI, Holcomb 1-3 and Shavalia 1-3.

Pocahontas Game

The Cougars traveled to Pocahontas on Feb 28 to face the Redskins. Rector was downed 6-1 in the meeting.

An ailing Holcomb took the loss for Rector in one-third of an inning. Holcomb left the mound early with pain in his arm, but remained in the game at shortstop. He allowed two hits while walking two and striking out one with two earned runs and one unearned. Loveless came in behind Holcomb. He gave up two runs on one hit while walking three and striking out eight. Jacob Hester closed the game, allowing one run on one with two strikeouts.

The Cougars managed just four hits in the game. Loveless finished 1-2 with a run scored. Also hitting were Small 1-3 with an RBI, Shavalia 1-3 and Holcomb 1-3.

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