Mohawks Edge Cougars in Re-Match

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Mohawk senior Bret Fuller was tough as nails on the mound, and at the plate, in Friday's home win over the Rector Cougars.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

The Piggott Mohawk baseball squad continues to show improvement as the spring season progresses. In the past week the Tribe notched an impressive home win over Walnut Ridge, stumbled at Highland and dropped a one-run decision then rebounded with a home win over the Rector Cougars on Friday. Tuesday afternoon the squad won a key game at Corning, with conference implications on the line. Thursday afternoon the seniors of 2017 will be recognized prior to the home finale against Hoxie—weather permitting.

“That Walnut Ridge was a huge win for us, we lost a tough game to them at their place,” Mohawk Head Coach Alan Rabjohn said of the 4-3 Piggott win.

Despite a strong pitching performance by Josh Lyman, the Bobcats plated a run in the first, fourth and sixth innings to take a 3-1 lead into the sixth. But, the Mohawks battled at the plate and staged a dramatic comeback.

Trey Gossett arrived at the ballpark late Friday, but still figured in the outcome in the win over Rector. He's pictured here scoring one of the late runs as Cougar pitcher Hunter McNeely (left) backs up the play at the plate.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

“They walked Jackson Henfling to fill the bases and pitch to John Jones,” Rabjohn recalled. “He torched them for a three-RBI triple and we took the lead 4-3.”

Lyman returned to the mound in the home half of the inning and shut-down the Bobcats to preserve the win. On the day he fanned six, while earning the complete game win.

Trey Gossett led the team at the plate with a 2 for 3 day, driving in one run, while Lyman, Jones and Bret Fuller all were 1 for 3 on the game.

“Again, that Walnut Ridge win was a huge. It puts us in a position where we can be playing for a tie for first place in conference,” Rabjohn added. “:Josh Lyman pitched the complete game, probably threw over 100 pitches, and threw his best game of the year. They're one of the top teams in our conference, and getting a win over them is a great confidence builder for the team.”

Thursday afternoon the Tribe made the trip to Highland and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Rebels.

“Neither one of us hit the ball well, I don't think either one of the pitchers threw over 70 pitches,” Rabjohn said of the loss. “Michael Palmer pitched a complete game and struck out six or seven, he just didn't get any run support. We were also short a couple of guys.”

Friday afternoon the Rector Cougars visited the friendly confines of Independence Park for the completion of the home-and-away series. Two weeks ago the Tribe had visited the Rector Sports Complex, and brought home a come-from-behind victory—and Friday the boys in blue hoped to do the same.

“The Rector win was big, anytime Rector and Piggott get together you know you're going to get a tough game,” Rabjohn offered. “But the guys stepped up.”

Shorthanded due to conflicts with other activities, the Mohawks began the game with a number of substitutes to their usual starters and took a few innings to gel.

The teams battled into the fifth inning at 1-1 before the Tribe's bats came to life and they pushed to the 5-2 win. Getting the nod was senior Bret Fuller, who responded with a complete game performance, striking out six Cougars and only walking one.

“Bret Fuller pitched as good as I've ever seen him, he had control of his fast ball and then he started breaking a wicked curve ball that was just un-hittable,” Rabjohn offered. “Quinten Reeves really stepped-up at shortstop, I think he had five put-outs. That's not bad for a guy who started the season in the outfield, moved to second and is now playing at short. But, he's just one of those guys that you can put anywhere and he'll give you his best. I was really proud of the guys.”

Fuller also helped his cause with an RBI, along with Reeves and Henfling while Trey Gossett and Holden Tarno scored runs.

“I think we had 10 hits as a team, with Michael Palmer, Josh Lyman and Bret Fuller all getting two hits each, and Jackson Henfling, Andy Risner, Tarno and Gossett also getting hits,” Rabjohn added.

A former Cougar himself, Rabjohn had high praise for the RHS squad.

“I thought the McNeely kid had a strong game, we just hit a few hard ones where there wasn't anybody. Hats off to Rector, they're a good team and you can always expect a good game from a cross-county rival. Coach Dorman is doing a great job with those guys and we wish them the best.”

Tuesday the Tribe visited the 13-4 Bobcats and beat their other cross county rivals 5-1. Staked by a three-run homerun by Gossett in the first, Lyman worked a full game three-hitter to get the win. Reeves and Jones both had two hits on the day, and Fuller contributed an RBI.

With the wins the Tribe pulls to 9-8 on the season with one game remaining, Thursday at home against Hoxie. Prior to first pitch, starting at 4 p.m. the four members of the PHS class of 2017 on the baseball team will be recognized

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