Bobcat bats go silent at regionals
The Bobcat baseball team came through last Wednesday at the 1AAA district tournament in Lincoln, pounding out 13 hits and 8 runs to defeat the West Fork Tigers 8-7, earning them the third-place seed at the Class AAA regional tournament.
They hoped to carry the momentum of that game into the regional tournament Saturday in Harrison when they faced Clarksville, but the Bobcat bats went silent on a wild and windy weather day.
When the dust settled, the Bobcats had four errors to go with just six hits, and Clarksville had a 4-0 victory, setting them up against Prairie Grove in the next round while Berryville headed home.
Coach Barry Hardin's team ended a solid season with a 17-9 record, remarkable in itself as rainy, wet weather dominated the spring season, making it hard to get games in.
Saturday, April 27
"It was basically a pitching duel," Coach Hardin said about a game that remained scoreless until the sixth inning. "The wind was blowing, and then it got ugly in the sixth."
Hardin said two Clarksville fly balls were held up by the wind and got over the Bobcat defense.
"A couple of balls hit to left field kept rising with the wind, and we misjudged them," Hardin said. "We played good defense, and I was pleased with everyone, except the hitting. We never got going. Of their four runs, only two were earned."
Jerry Donahue led off on the mound for Berryville and went 5-1/3 innings. He faced 24 batters, had 4 strikeouts, and gave up 7 hits. Heath Neal finished the final 2/3 inning and had one strikeout.
"Jerry pitched a super game for five innings, then we had errors. Those can be disheartening," Hardin said.
Hits- Justin Pittman- 1/3; Ryan Rylee- 1/3; Steven Truelove- 1/3; Drew Ray- 1/3; Rodney Worsham- 2/2.
VS WEST FORK
Wednesday, April 24
The Bobcats wanted the best seed they could get at the regional tournament, so this third-place game in the 1AAA district tournament took on added significance.
"Going into the game, we wanted to play good and get either Booneville or Clarksville at regionals," Coach Hardin said.
"We got up 3-0, then let them come back on us in the fourth and tie it up," Coach Hardin said. "We jumped back on top with two runs, and led 6-4 in the top of the sixth.
"West Fork got three runs in the top of the seventh to lead 7-6, and my blood pressure went through the roof.
"In the bottom of the seventh, Ryan Rylee hit a shot to second and was called out. Then Steven Truelove hit a double, and Henry Adams followed with a single to score Truelove and tie the game.
"Then Rodney Worsham hit a game-winning double to score Adams, making it 8-7, and the game was over."
Heath Neal started on the mound and went 4 innings. He faced 18 batters, had 7 strikeouts, and gave up 4 hits. Ryan Rylee came in for the final 3 innings, faced 17 batters, struck out 4, and gave up 7 hits.
"Heath was pitching well, and we were cruising," Hardin said. "After the fourth inning, Ryan Rylee came in and did a super job through the fifth and sixth innings, then in the seventh they started hitting him.
"We finally got the last out when West Fork hit a grounder to Truelove at second and he threw them out."
Hits- Pittman- 1/4; Ray- 1/4; Rylee- 3/4, single, triple, double; Truelove- 3/4, single, triple, double; Adams- 2/4; Worsham- 1/4; Joseph Boley- 1/3; Neal- 1/3.