Baseball Season Underway in NEARK

Thursday, March 9, 2017
The Rector Cougar dugout at Parker's Chapel during last year's state baseball tournament. The Cougars will be looking to make another deep run into postseason play this spring.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

With high school basketball near complete, local teams turned their attention to the diamonds as baseball season has begun. All three of our local squads have been in action, and are scheduled to play in the coming days as weather allows.

Rector Cougars

With just a few days of on-the-field practice following basketball season, the Rector Cougars baseball team split a pair of games last week against a pair of solid foes.

The Cougars rebounded from a 10-1 Thursday setback to post a come-from-behind 10-9 win over East Poinsett County on Friday.

Kirk Beshears had a two-run walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh to highlight the EPC victory. Rector battled back from a 9-4 deficit to register the exciting win.

"I was extremely proud of the boys for the EPC win," coach Robert Dorman said. "We made some great adjustments following the Corning game. We had much better at-bats, the defense played better overall and we had a gutsy pitching performance from Cody Ails."

Ails picked up the win in relief, going four innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out six.

"We still made some mistakes, but we will be correcting those as we go along."

Hunter McNeely also had two hits for the Cougars. Case Watson started the game for Rector and pitched three innings. He allowed three earned runs, struck out five and walked one.

Corning dominated the Thursday game as the Cougars were able to score only one time -- in the bottom of the first. Picking up hits for Rector were Easton Tracy, Sam Simmons, Ails and Watson. McNeely started on the mound for the Cougars, pitching three innings, allowing two earned runs and registering five strikeouts.

"We were extremely rusty going into the game and it showed," Dorman said. "We had some communication problems in the field and just made several costly mistakes.

"On the other hand, Corning is a very good team. They should do well in their conference.

"Overall, we kind of treated these first two as warmup games," the coach added. "I was certainly pleased with the improvement I saw from Thursday to Friday. We have a lot of work to do, but we will get there in time."

Rector has an important game set for 4 p.m. Thursday at Joe Mack Campbell complex in Jonesboro against Ridgefield Christian. This is one of four games that will be a factor in the district tournament seeding, two against Ridgefield and two more with Maynard.

Members of the team this year include:

Seniors -- Case Watson, Easton Tracy and Cody Ails.

Juniors -- Sam Simmons, Kirk Beshears, Hunter McNeely, Hunter

Householder, Nic Mesa and Zephyer Tinsley.

Sophomores -- Evan Dooley, Hadden Parrish and Conly Lockhart.

Freshmen -- Shannon Patterson and Travis Slaughter.

Rector also is fielding a junior high team this year. The Junior Cougars lost games last week to Piggott and Valley View. They are scheduled to play Jonesboro at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Joe Mack Campbell complex.

Here is the remaining schedule for the senior team:

March 9 -- at Ridgefield Christian, 4.

March 13 -- at Bay, 4.

March 14 -- at Sloan-Hendrix, 4.

March 17 -- at Maynard, 4.

March 18 -- Hillcrest/Mammoth Spring at Bay, 9 a.m.

March 24 -- at Corning, 4.

March 27 -- Marmaduke, 3:30.

March 30 -- at Hillcrest, 4.

March 31 -- Piggott, 4:30.

April 3 -- at Marmaduke, 3:30.

April 6 -- Sloan-Hendrix, 4.

April 7 -- Marked Tree, 5.

April 8 -- Cooter/Manila at Cooter, Mo., 11 a.m.

April 10 -- Hillcrest, 4.

April 13 -- Maynard, 4.

April 17 -- Ridgefield Christian, 4.

April 18 -- Clarkton, Mo., 4:30.

April 19 -- Bay, at Williams Baptist, 4.

April 25 -- at Gideon, Mo., 4.

April 27-28 -- District Tournament at Bay.

The Piggott Mohawk baseball squad got their season underway Thursday, March 2, with a road win over Blytheville. The following day the squad fell at Harrisburg. Taking over the program this year is former assistant coach Alan Rabjohn, with assistance from volunteer coach Billy Joe Seal, as the squad will look to a seasoned roster.

The Tribe traveled to Blytheville for a non-conference game last Thursday and handed the Chickasaws an 18-11 loss. Quinten Reeves led the squad at the plate, as they rode a big seventh inning to the win.

The Mohawks failed to score in the first two innings, with the Chicks plating a run in the bottom of the second to take a 1-0 lead. The Piggott bats came to life in the third, as they scored a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead.

Again, the home team answered in the bottom half of the frame, scoring a run to tie the game at 2-2 after three.

Piggott once again scored two runs in the top of the fourth, and again Blytheville scored one in the home half of the inning, as the score stood at 4-3 in favor of the Mohawks.

The Tribe failed to score in the top of the fifth, and allowed four runs in the bottom of the inning, as the Chicks stretched the lead to 7-4 after five. The Mohawks added another run in the top of the sixth, while holding Blytheville scoreless, as they cut the lead to 7-5 going into the seventh inning.

In the seventh the Mohawks feasted on Blytheville pitching, as they scored 13 runs to take an 18-7 lead into the home half of the inning. The Chicks did respond in the bottom of the inning, scoring four more runs to set the final at 18-11 in favor of the Tribe.

Reeves was 3 for 5 on the day for the Tribe, with a pair of doubles and a triple. Hayden Lemmons got the win on the mound, as he worked the last two innings.


The following day the Mohawks made the trip to Harrisburg, and dropped a 9-2 decision to the Hornets.

Neither team scored in the first, with the Hornets drawing first blood with a three-run home half of the second as they took an early lead. The third inning was also scoreless for Piggott, while the home team added two more runs to extend the lead to 5-0 after three.

The Mohawks scored their first run in the top of the fourth, but allowed two more runs in the home half of the frame as Harrisburg extended the lead to 7-1. After a scoreless fifth, and top half of the sixth for the Mohawks, the Hornets added two more runs.

The Tribe would add one more late, but it was too-little-too-late as Harrisburg posted the win.

Michael Palmer got the start, and took the loss, giving up 5 runs on 3 hits while walking 5 and striking out 4 Hornets in 2 and one-third inning. Trey Gossett worked 2 and one-third inning and gave up two runs on 3 hits while John Jones worked an inning an a third giving up 2 runs on one hit. Winning pitcher for the Hornets was Zach Biggers.

Reeves, Bret Fuller, Dylan Bellers and Palmer were all 1 for 3 at the plate, while Jackson Henfling was 1 for 2 in the loss.

This year's team includes seniors Fuller, Andy Risner and Caleb Higgins; the juniors include Lemmons, Jones, Logan Allman, Elijah Bellers and Josh Lyman; sophomores include Reeves, Gossett, Luke Boyd and Dylan Bellers and the freshman class includes Quinten Baber, Holden Tarno, Clayton Coleman, Henfling, Cooper Harris, Palmer, Austyn Crow and Matthew Cheshire.

Rabjohn reports the Mohawks were scheduled to visit Cave City Tuesday afternoon, but due to wet field conditions the game has been postponed. The squad was scheduled to host Pocahontas on Thursday, but that game will likely be moved to Pocahontas.

The remainder of the Mohawk schedule is as follows, and unless specified first pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.

March 10, - at Cave City

March 13, - vs Harrisburg

March 14, - at Melbourne

March 20, - vs Highland

March 28, - at Hoxie

March 30, - vs Cave City

March 31, - at Rector

April 4, - vs Pocahontas

April 6, - vs Melbourne

April 7, - vs corning

April 11, - vs Walnut Ridgefield

April 13, - at Highland

April 18, - at Corning

April 20, - vs Hoxie

April 24, - at Riverside

Marmaduke Greyhounds

The Marmaduke Greyhounds fell to White County Central at Judsonia last Thursday by a final of 22-17 to start their season. The 'Hounds are next slated to take on Maynard next Monday, March 13 in a double header.

The Greyhounds jumped on the board early in their contest with the Bears, as they plated a pair of runs in the top of the first. The host team answered with one in the home half of the inning, as Marmaduke enjoyed a 2-1 lead after one.

Both teams unloaded the lumber in the second, with the Greyhounds scoring four runs in the top of the inning, and the Bears adding seven of their own in the bottom. Trailing 8-6 after two, the 'Hounds scored three more runs in the top of the third, only to allow White County Central to do the same in the home half of the frame.

Marmaduke responded with six more runs in the top of the fourth inning, but the Bears answered with a nine run home half to stretch the lead to 20-15. Both teams plated a run each in fifth, and again in the sixth, to set the final score.

Markus Lamar had a big day at the plate for Marmaduke, as he went 4 for 5 with 2 RBI, while Landen McKinney was 3 for 4 with a pair of RBI, Austin Easley and Alex Donohue were both 2 for 3 with a pair of runs batted in, Chad Hall went 1 for 3 with a pair of RBI and D.J. Mitchell was 2 for 4 and drove in a run as well.

Easley got the start, and took the loss, giving up 6 earned runs on just 2 hits while walking 8 and striking out 8 of the Bears. Coming on in relief were Lamar, Hall and Jackson Lewallen.

Following Monday's twin-bill with the Tigers, the Greyhounds will visit Buffalo Island Central on Tuesday, March 14, and will travel to Strawberry to take on Hillcrest on Thursday, March 16. Following spring break they'll close out March with road games at Rector on March 27, Sloan-Hendrix on March 28 and Marked Tree on March 31.

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