BASEBALL: Miners beat Cardinals 6-0
HASKELL — The Miners jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.
Bauxite beat Harmony Grove 6-0 Tuesday, scoring all of its runs in the first three innings thanks to good hitting, smart base running and well-executed defense.
Bauxite head coach Michael Mattox said, “We were much more solid on defense. We acted like we knew what we were doing, and we were in position.”
On the other end, Harmony Grove head coach Brandon Kelly said, “We weren’t mentally tough today. It showed when we got ready in warmups; we were clowning around and weren’t focused at the task at hand.
“We got six base hits, and they got six base hits, but their hits produced runs. They had smart base running, too.”
Pitching for the Miners was Ryan Weng, who pitched a shutout while giving up six hits and striking out 11 batters.
Aaron Arzt started pitching for the Cardinals. In three innings, he gave up three hits and struck out three batters. Rex Furry relieved Arzt on the mound, holding the Miners scoreless the remainder of the game while striking out two batters and allowing three hits.
“Rex has come a long way. He’s better than I’ve given him credit for,” Kelly said. “I’m hoping he can be mentally tough through the year, because our conference is going to be tough. We need to compete, and we need our pitchers to compete.”
Sophomore Tyler Willis batted two for four for the Miners, including a double and two runs-batted-in. Senior Tanner Bates was 2-4 with two singles and two steals. Austin Harris was 1-4, reaching base on a bunt.
For the Cardinals, Jonathan Lyman batted 2-3 with two singles. Brad Neighbors went 1-3, and Arzt, Furry and Ryan Roush went 1-3 with singles.
The Miners scored two run in the first inning off Willis’ double, which brought in Bates and senior Bryar Sample.
In the second inning, sophomore Tyler Hill reached base for the Miners after being hit by a pitch, and then stole second base. He advanced to third on a sacrifice fly Patrick Dangle, and then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Bates.
The Miners scored three more runs in the third inning. Harris scored on an overthrown ball as he was stealing third base. Then juniors Dylan Oliver and Hunter Wray came home, making the score 6-0 in favor of Bauxite, where it would stay the rest of the game.
Mattox was especially proud of his pitcher and catcher, senior Matt Frelin, on defense.
“I think the most exciting part was getting runners out when they’re on base,” he said. “We picked off a guy at second base, and we caught two guys stealing.”
He said, “The hitting took care of itself. We left a lot of guys on base, which is disappointing, but we still hit the ball hard.”
The Miners play at Magnet Cove at 4 p.m. Thursday, and then face Poyen at home at 4 p.m. Friday.
Mattox said, “I think we made a turn today, and I hope we can carry it over to Thursday.”
The Cardinals next play Rison at home at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, and then travel to play Glen Rose at 4 p.m. Friday.