Undefeated: Mohawks go 12-0 in conference
The mighty Mohawks completed a perfect conference performance for 2011 on Tuesday, April 19 as Piggott topped host Rivercrest in doubleheader action at Wilson. The Tribe notched an unblemished 12-0 league record, a first for Piggott High School baseball.
"I'm so happy for this group of guys," coach Shawn Hearn said. "They're not only good players, but good young men who have worked hard and deserve this. It's something they can be proud of as they go through life. They might not remember the score to every game, but they'll remember going 12-0."
The two wins over Rivercrest were definite contrasts. Piggott won the first contest with ease, 16-0 in five innings. The second game was more of a contest, with the Mohawks coming away with a hard-fought 4-3 victory. Piggott trailed 2-0 through three innings and had to claw back with late hits by seniors Alek Samples Hayden McMillon and Tanner Murray.
"I think the second game was good for us," Hearn said. "It made us develop some character that we can use in these tournaments we're hoping to get to. We had to buckle down and fight our way out of a hole. That's not something we had to do much of this season."
The undefeated conference campaign is part of a lasting legacy for seniors Kyle Hardin, Blake Morgan, Kyle Wright, Jake Poe, McMillon, Samples, Colby Lovelace and Tanner Murray.
"It's really about our seniors," Hearn said. "Those guys have meant so much to our program. You can tell they just have a love of the game and enjoy being out there together."
Through years of taking the field together, the eight seniors have developed a strong bond which was evident not only this season, but throughout many of their days on the diamond.
"It's been a journey," Morgan said. "A lot of ups and downs--more ups than downs. We've all worked really hard and put in a lot of time."
"Being with the group of boys I've been with my whole life and getting to finish it out with them--that's what I'll remember," Wright said.
"We went out and earned it," McMillon said of the team's success. "We didn't let it happen--we went out and made it happen."
"Even though we've been playing baseball forever, we learned a lot this season," Lovelace said. "It's been a ride and we've come through it together."
"The best part has been being with these guys," Poe, who Hearn called the inspirational leader of the team, said. "They're like family to me. It's just been a lot of fun."
"You can't just be an individual," Hardin said. "It's a team sport. It takes all our team to do this. I'm glad to have the people I've had on my team. That means as much as any win."
"We had a lot of expectations going into our senior year," Samples said. "It means a lot to be the only Piggott team to go 12-0. That's a big deal. It took everybody working together to make it happen."
"Everyone wants to be a conference--especially going undefeated," Tanner Murray said. "But to do that with these guys makes it one of the best memories I've had. It's been great, but we're not finished yet."
Piggott rolled through the conference, outscoring their opponents 115-15 in 12 games. Piggott finished the regular season with an overall record of 17-4 while averaging 9.5 runs per game and allowing just 1.5 runs per contest by their opponents.
"I can't say enough about the guys on this team," Hearn said. "Everybody has come through for us all season long."
Hearn would like to extend thanks to all the parents and fans that have supported the squad.
"I especially want to thank the parents and the administration for all their support. The people who have been behind us over the years have helped make this possible. A lot of people have come to me and asked what they could do to help out. I appreciate everybody who's been a part of this."
The Mohawks will have a bye in the first round of the district tournament, set to begin Thursday at Harrisburg. Recent rains have created some conflicts in scheduling, but Piggott will likely be set to take the field for action Friday evening.