Tigers learning to play in elements

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Green Forest Tigers lost a pair of games earlier this week to Valley Springs and Lincoln, falling to 0-5 on the year.

Valley Springs 14, Green Forest 4

Despite Monday's 10-run loss at Valley Springs, coach Brandon Stone was pleased with the way his team performed.

"It was our first game where the kids came out and were ready to go from the start," Stone said. "Hayden Bailey pitched an outstanding game. He threw five innings and gave up two earned runs, pitched well enough to win. Our defense was better. We communicated better than what we did in our tournament. Still had a few missed plays that we should have made and that led to most of their runs. Overall, the things I wanted to see early on was defensive communication and we did much better with that. Base running, we took several extra bases on them that they gave us. Situational hitting improved as well."

Green Forest scored first in the top of the third. Jacob McMahan scored on a fielder's choice. Valley Springs struck back in the bottom half of the inning, though. Valley Springs scored two runs on a line drive to center and a sacrifice fly to center and another on an error. Valley Springs tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth and led 7-1. Green Forest scored three runs in the top of the fifth. Dakota Grigg and Bailey each scored on a Valley Springs error and a single from Hayden Alvard scored Trey Curbow. Green Forest gave up seven runs in the bottom of the sixth, putting the sportsmanship rule into effect.

Curbow had two RBIs and a hit, while Alvard also had an RBI and a hit.

Lincoln 16, Green Forest 1

Tuesday's game at Lincoln was cold and windy. Stone said the Tigers let that get the best of them in the loss.

"I think we were more concerned about the cold than we were about playing baseball," Stone said. "It was freezing. The wind was blowing right in our face at 30 miles an hour the whole game. It was rough on both teams. Lincoln just did a better job of adjusting to it."

The game was tied at 1-1 going into the bottom of the third when the Wolves scored four runs. Lincoln scored a run on error, added another on a fly ball to center and two more on a double.

"Trey Curbow was pitching and he didn't throw that bad," Stone said. "He told me he was throwing the ball inside on a hitter and I'm missing it outside. The wind was taking it and blowing the ball everywhere."

Lincoln exploded for 11 more runs in the bottom of the fourth to end the game. Bailey finished with two hits and McMahan added an RBI and a hit. Stone hopes the Tigers can learn from this loss.

"We can learn how to play in the elements and gain mental toughness from this," Stone said. "That fourth inning came along and we were more concerned about being cold than we were playing baseball."

On Thursday, Green Forest played at Elkins.

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