March 25, 2009 Edition

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Bobcats earn four wins



Bobcat William Wilcoxson prepares to release a pitch during Walnut Ridge's 15-14 win over Corning on March 18.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge baseball team remained undefeated in 2A-2 conference play with a 4-2 win over Midland on Thursday at Pleasant Plains.

Brandon Dawson (3-0) earned the win on the mound, allowing two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. Paul Rainwater came on in relief and recorded the final two outs.

Walnut Ridge scored in the first inning, when Curtis Jackson singled, stole second and scored when a groundball hit by Luke Holloway was misplayed by the Midland first baseman. Midland tied the game on a Bobcat error in the bottom of the first.

The game remained tied 1-1 until the top of the sixth, when Holloway reached second on a two-base error by the Midland third baseman. He then scored on a single by Rainwater, who went to second on the play, when the throw from the outfield went over the cutoff man's head. Rainwater then scored on a single off the bat of Dawson.

Walnut Ridge scored another run in the top of the seventh inning, when Logan Gaither walked, went to second base on a wild pick-off attempt by the pitcher and scored on a single by Jackson.

Dawson struck out the lead-off batter to open the bottom of the seventh. After the next two batters reached base safely, Paul Rainwater relieved Dawson. Rainwater faced only two batters, getting a groundout to the second baseman and a strikeout to end the game.

With the win, Walnut Ridge improved to 9-2 on the season and 4-0 in the 2A-2 conference. Offensively, Jackson and Chris Dickson led the Bobcats with two hits apiece.

Corning

A six-run sixth inning propelled Walnut Ridge to a 15-14 win over Corning on March 18 at Walnut Ridge.

Corning answered with five runs in the top of the seventh inning and had the tying run on base when the game ended.

Corning got on the scoreboard first with three runs in the top of the first, but the Bobcats answered with three in the bottom of the inning on singles by Gaither, William Wilcoxson and Holloway.

Trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Walnut Ridge plated three more runs on singles by Jackson, Wilcoxson, Dickson and a double by Paul Rainwater.

Corning scored three times in the fifth inning to take a 9-7 lead. Walnut Ridge plated two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game 9-9. The Bobcats held Corning scoreless in the top of the sixth, before registering a big inning in the bottom half. Paul Rainwater, Dickson, and Rob Rainwater all had singles in the inning. Gaither provided the big hit of the game with a grand slam that made the score 15-9.

Gaither led Walnut Ridge at the plate, going 3-for-5. Jackson, Dickson, Wilcoxson and Paul Rainwater each recorded two hits.

Rob Rainwater pitched 2-1/3 innings in relief to earn the win.

Salem

Paul Rainwater pitched a two-hit shutout as the Walnut Ridge Bobcats defeated Salem 10-0 in high school baseball on March 17.

Rainwater also led the Cats at the plate, going 2-for-2, with a double, a home run and two RBIs. Logan Gaither batted 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Holloway and Dawson each had two RBIs.

Cotter

Walnut Ridge outlasted Cotter 15-10 in high school baseball action Monday at Cotter.

Walnut Ridge opened the scoring with three runs in the third inning, then followed up with seven runs in the fourth to jump out to a 10-0 lead.

Offensively for the Bobcats, Jackson had two hits, three RBIs and scored three runs. Tyler Dickson had three hits, an RBI and scored three runs. Gaither had two hits and scored three runs. Rob Rainwater had two hits and two RBIs.

Jackson picked up the win on the mound, allowing nine runs on eight hits, with six strikeouts and two walks in five and one-third innings of work.

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