Baseball Cats win three,
lose two to open season

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

Baseball is in full swing at Walnut Ridge High School, as the Bobcats began the 2009 high school season with five games last week.

Pocahontas

Walnut Ridge lost a back-and-forth game to the Pocahontas Redskins 10-9 on Friday.

The Bobcats scored two runs in each of the second and third innings to take a 4-0 lead. Pocahontas plated five runs in the bottom of the third to move in front 5-4.

Walnut Ridge regained the lead 6-5 with two runs in the top of the fifth, only to see the Redskins answer with three in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 8-6.

The Cats battled back once again, tying the game 8-8 with two runs in the sixth inning and taking a 9-8 lead with a run in the top of the seventh.

Pocahontas' leadoff batter in the seventh inning was hit by a pitch and went to second on an errant pickoff throw. The next batter hit a double to tie the game 9-9. After an error and a walk, Pocahontas had the bases loaded with nobody out. Bobcat pitcher Chris Dickson got the next batter to hit a shallow fly ball to right for the first out. The runner at first forgot to tag, but the throw to first got past the Bobcat's Luke Holloway, allowing the winning run to score from third base.

Dickson took the loss on the mound, pitching two innings in relief of starter Brandon Dawson.

Walnut Ridge fell to 3-2 on the year with the loss.

Tuckerman

The Bobcats traveled to Tuckerman on Thursday and recorded a 1-0 shutout over the Bulldogs.

Walnut Ridge's Heath Kennedy led off the sixth inning with a walk and pinch-runner Teague Phillips advanced to second on a wild pitch. Curtis Jackson then singled home Phillips with the game's only run.

Senior William Wilcoxson, making his first career start as a pitcher, went seven innings and allowed only four hits, while walking two and striking out three.

Marmaduke

Walnut Ridge hosted Marmaduke on March 4, falling 10-6 to the Greyhounds.

The Bobcats led 5-4 heading into the fifth inning, when Marmaduke erupted for five runs to take a 9-5 lead.

The Bobcats were led at the plate by Rob Rainwater and Jackson, with two hits each.

Jackson took the loss on the mound, allowing seven runs on four hits in four and two-thirds innings of work.

Walnut Ridge aided the Greyhounds' cause, committing five errors on defense, while Bobcat pitchers issued eight walks.

Tuckerman

Walnut Ridge defeated Tuckerman 4-2 on March 3 at Walnut Ridge.

The game was tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs, Holloway reached base on a Tuckerman error. Paul Rainwater then doubled to left, scoring Holloway with the go-ahead run. Rainwater scored on a single by Dickson for the Cats' final run.

Paul Rainwater was the winning pitcher, allowing two runs and four hits, while striking out 11 in six innings. Rob Rainwater pitched the final inning, allowing one hit and recording one strikeout.

Brookland

Walnut Ridge defeated Brookland 3-2 in the season-opener on March 2 at Walnut Ridge.

With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Kennedy drew a two-out walk and advanced to second when Logan Gaither also walked. Kennedy scored the winning run when Brookland's second baseman threw wildly past first on a ball hit by Jackson.

Dawson was the winning pitcher, allowing two runs on three hits, with two walks and 11 strikeouts in five innings of work. Jackson pitched the final two innings, allowing a hit and two walks with two strikeouts.

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