High School Baseball Season Underway

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Mohawk first baseman Matthew Cheshire scores a run in the Tribe's win at Rector on Friday. Also pictured is RHS catcher Conly Lockhart and Piggott on-deck hitter Holden Tarno along with umpire Zach Taylor.
TD photo/Tim Blair

The high school baseball season got underway last week across Arkansas, despite the fact the state basketball champions have yet to be decided. On Friday afternoon the Piggott Mohawks visited the Rector Cougars at the Rector Sports Complex for non-conference play. The contest had originally been scheduled for Independence Park in Piggott, but wet outfield conditions prompted the move.

With the Tribe listed as the home team on the Rector scoreboard, the Mohawks jumped to an early lead and then held-on late to post a 4-1 win.

A pair of seniors got the nod for their respective teams on Friday, as Evan Dooley took the mound for the boys in blue while Dylan Bellers got the start for the Mohawks. Both were chased in the middle innings, with Bellers earning the win while Dooley was saddled with the loss.

Coming on in relief for the Mohawks was another senior, Trey Gossett, who got off to a rocky start—allowing the Cougars lone run. In the late innings the Cougars also turned to relief, with freshman John Ford Hendrix making an appearance.

The Mohawks return a handful of starters from last year's state tournament qualifiers, as they finished with a record of 17-9. After advancing from the district and regional, they fell to Greenland 7-3 in the first round of the state tournament. Once again this year Coach Alan Rabjohn is assisted by Billy Joe Seal, with former Mohawk head coach Shawn Hearn also joining the staff.

The Piggott squad includes seniors Gossett, Bellers and catcher Luke Boyd. Juniors include Holden Tarno, Matthew Cheshire and Michael Palmer; sophomores include Brandon Seal, Clayton Kemp, Brent Gossett, Tanner Dixon, Wyatt Crabtree and Austin Fair; freshman on the squad include Brandon Palmer, Kase Gookin and Pearson Hearn.

Long-time Cougar Coach Robert Dorman is once-again assisted by Chris Richardson this season. Last year, playing at the 1A level, the Cougars finished at 11-8 with a 5-0 loss to Hillcrest in the first round of the playoffs.

The Cougar squad includes returning seniors Dooley, Hadden Parrish, Connor Austin and All-State catcher Conly Lockhart—who continues to recover from off-season surgery. Juniors on the team include Dillon Mobley, Shannon Patterson and Travis Slaughter; sophomores include Chris Hufty and Landon McClung and freshman include Jerron Bucy, Logan Emerline and Hendrix.

The Cougars are scheduled to begin 2A-3 conference play with a home contest with the Bay Yellowjackets this Thursday, March 7, and are slated to visit Sloan-Hendrix on Friday. They'll visit Salem on Tuesday, March 12, and will then remain idle through spring break. They'll resume the schedule on Monday, March 25, with a home conference game with the Marmaduke Greyhounds.

The Mohawks were scheduled to visit the Corning Bobcats to begin conference play this Thursday, March 7. On Monday, March 11, they'll continue 3A-3 play with a road game at Walnut Ridge and the following day, Tuesday, March 12, the Osceola Seminoles will visit Piggott. They'll also be visiting the Hoxie Mustangs on Friday, March 15, in conference play and will then be idle for spring break. They'll resume the schedule on Monday, March 25, with a home conference game with Manila.

The regular schedule runs through mid-April, with district tournaments slated for the week of April 22.

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