BASEBALL: Miners earn huge win over Magnet Cove, 9-8

The Miners traveled Thursday to Magnet Cove, where they beat the Panthers 9-8.

Bauxite head coach Michael Mattox said, “We fought hard tonight. That game was especially hard at the end.”

Sophomore Chris Revas started on the mound for the Miners, pitching 6 1/3 innings and striking out eight batters. In the fifth inning, a line drive hit him in the ear, splitting it open and causing the game to be stopped while coaches tended to him.

However, Revas asked to stay in the game. Mattox, laughing, said, “I think he was more effective after he got hit.”

Mattox said, “He didn’t waste any time and said he wanted to keep going. Chris did a great job. He’s a tough kid.”

However, Mattox pulled Revas the next inning after he reached his pitch-count limit.

“I’m a big pitch count guy,” Mattox said.

Revas gave up all eight runs for Bauxite, although only five were earned.
Austin Harris relieved Revas in the sixth inning, and then got two outs in the seventh inning before senior Bryar Sample came in to pitch for the last out.

Sample came in after a Magnet Cove batter reached third base on error when his hit got through third base and left field. Once another batter was walked, Sample came in.

“I had a lot of confidence in Bryar,” Mattox said, adding that he allowed the Magnet Cove runner on first to steal second base, allowing the winning run to be in scoring position with two outs.

Still, Sample kept his composure and struck out the Magnet Cove batter, ending the game and earning a save in the Miners’ 9-8 win.

Sample batted three of four on the night. Mattox said, “He hit the ball really well to opposite field and helped moved a lot of guys into scoring position.”

The game was bittersweet for Sample, whose father suffered a work-related injury earlier in the day and was being treated at a hospital.

“Today was real big for Bryar,” Mattox said. “He would have made his dad proud. We’re all thinking about him.”

Sophomore Tyler Willis batted 1-2, including a walk, being hit by a pitch and one run-batted-in on a sacrifice fly. Senior Matt Freelin was 2-5 with a double, single and one RBI.

“The top five of the lineup really settled in and hit the ball well, especially getting the ball into play,” Mattox said, adding the five batters had a combined eight hits. “My six-through-nine hitters really struggled; they had no hits.”

Also, the Miners made five errors on the field, something Mattox knows has to improve in order to compete in conference play, which begins after spring break next week.

“We’re still looking to clean up our defense,” he said. “Once we play solid defense, the games usually go better for us.”

After three innings, the Miners were ahead 7-4. By the top of the seventh inning, the game was tied 8-8, but Bauxite prevailed and scored a run in its last at bat.

“They left them loaded in the sixth, but we did, too,” Mattox said. “It really was a one-inning game there at the end.”