Miners fall to .500 before Senior Day

BAUXITE — In what was an otherwise even matched game Monday, a disastrous fifth inning resulted in the Miners losing their second straight game going into today’s Senior Day against Harmony Grove.
Bauxite (11-11, 2-4 4A-7) fell 10-3 to Mayflower (3A) Monday after losing 11-4 to Nashville (4A) Friday.
However, head coach Michael Mattox said, with the 4A-7 District Tournament approaching next week, “All it takes is one game to spark” a winning streak.
“We’re a little down right now, but we’re going to try to get some momentum today,” he said. “We’ll be going in as lower seed, but we’re still in a pretty good position to reach our goals for the year.
“There were some conference games we should’ve won that we didn’t, but we know we’re capable.”
After Monday’s loss to the Eagles, Mattox reminded his players that Bauxite, the defending 3A State Champions, peaked at the end of the year in its several seasons.
“I’m trying to get them to put the past behind them,” he said.
Today’s game against Harmony Grove begins at 4:30 p.m. The Miners’ final conference game of the season will be Thursday at Pulaski Academy. The district tournament, which all eight 4A-7 teams compete in, will be held at De Queen starting Wednesday, April 27.
Depending on the outcome of this week’s games, Mattox suspects the Miners will be “maybe a six or seven” seed.
Bauxite struggled to produce offensively during Monday’s game against Mayflower. The Miners’ top six batters reached base only twice in 19 at bats. Meanwhile, the bottom three hitters went 6-9, scoring all three of the Miners’ runs.
Junior Hunter Wray was 3-3, scoring twice. Freshman Blake Yates went 2-3 with a double and two RBIs, and sophomore Chris Revas was 1-3 with two walks, scoring once.
The Miners’ other two hits came from senior Tanner Bates, who was then thrown out attempting to steal second base, and sophomore Tyler Willis, who was eventually thrown out trying to steal home on a passed ball.
Senior Briar Sample started pitching for the Miners, allowing seven earned runs in five innings. Senior Austin Harris relived him, allowing one run in two innings.
After four innings, the Miners trailed Mayflower 3-1. In the Eagles’ next at bat, Mayflower scored seven runs, three of which came off a home run.
The Eagles would score one more in the sixth for a 10-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. The Miners tried to mount a comeback rally, scoring twice with two outs, but fell short.
After Friday’s loss to Nashville, who remains undefeated in the conference and will likely be awarded the No. 1 seed in the district tournament, Mattox said the 11-4 score against Nashville didn’t reflect how well the Miners battled.
“We played them really close,” he said. “We just kind of ran out of juice on the mound.”
Mattox said he is “leaning toward” starting senior Kyler Hickey on the mound against Harmony Grove (3A) for Senior Day.