Cougars Move Into Second Place in Conference
The Rector Cougars stand second in conference after a 10-0 baseball win Monday over visiting East Poinsett County. The Cougars now stand 7-2 in conference play.
Nick Hardin was the star of the game, pitching all six innings in the rain, allowing only one hit, walking one batter and striking out 10. Rector coach Robert Dorman said "this was the best game Hardin has ever pitched."
Offensively, Hardin was 1 for 3 with a double and one RBI, Lawson Ford was 2 for 3 with one RBI and two runs scored and Garrett Buck was 1 for 3 with a double and two RBIs.
"This was a huge game for us, since we were fighting with them for second place in conference," Dorman said. "EPC is a very good and talented team. The conditions were terrible with the rain but it was a perfect game with perfect defense. We put the ball in play and let them make them mistakes."
The Cougars also played at Riverside on Wednesday, April 8, but were defeated 11-0.
Ford and Austin Clairday were both 1 for 2. Ford took the loss, pitching the first five innings, and Hunter McNeely relieved him on the mound for the last inning. "We didn't play to our capabilities," Dorman said. "We also played one of the best pitchers in the state and conference"
The team did well putting the ball into play against the pitcher, but it didn't help Ford out on the mound any. "It was just an off game," Dorman added.
The Cougars hosted Buffalo Island Central Tuesday, April 7, beating them 7-5.
The Cougars were down 4-1 in the fifth inning with two runners on base and one out when BIC changed pitchers. A hit by Ford drove both runners home.
Hardin started on the mound, giving up two hits in four and a third innings. Sam Westbrook came in for relief and pitched two and two thirds innings, giving up one run and striking out four.
Ford was 2 for 4 with two doubles with two RBIs and scored three runs, Buck was 2 for 3 with one RBI and Danny Hager was 1 for 4 with 2 RBIs.
"We are playing well, keeping the ball in play, but we've got to keep it up and take care of business," Dorman said. "We have three more tough conference games ahead of us, playing EPC once more, Marked Tree and Cross County, which are all tough teams," Dorman said.
The Cougars are scheduled to play today at Bay, Thursday on the home field against Marked Tree, at home Friday against Osceola, and Saturday they will host Trumann.