Gusty Warriors' pitching leads to two-run victory against Bearden, 7-5

The Ouachita Warriors showcasing productive play defensively against Bearden to earn their first win during Sr. Babe Ruth League baseball competition.Ouachita Warriors Riley Adams and Ian Smith slap hands of excitement on the diamond.Ouachita third baseman Kaden Fulmer avoids a Bearden Bear leaping in the air to make it on base.Ian Smith powers at the plate against Bearden.
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

DONALDSON — The Ouachita Warriors displayed an overall productive performance on the diamond Thursday to secure their first victory during Sr. Babe Ruth League baseball competition at Warrior Field. In an intense seven inning showcase, the Warriors prevailed for a two-run victory against the visiting Bearden Bears, 7-5.

Ouachita Warriors baseball head coach Anthony Nail impressed by the focus his team maintained to finish strong. The Warriors brought the heat defensively from the mound and created sparks at the plate offensively by their connection for hits against the Bears. Nail felt the Warriors made plays at critical situations that propelled the teams' performance to be victorious.

"I was proud of our pitchers for only allowing six baserunners on their own, giving up just three hits and three walks. Our hitters racked up seven hits and a couple walks, but the seven hits by pitches is what I loved to see offensively," Nail said.

The Warriors had a few mishaps that led to Bearden taking advantage to rally back from a 3-0 deficit through the third inning. Nail thought the Warriors' gutsy pitching surged them to secure victory that sparked the Ouachita defense.

"I wasn’t happy with the way the defense played. If the pitchers only allow six baserunners, there’s no way we should be allowing five runs, but making errors on ground balls that should result in outs will always hurt you. The credit for the win goes to the pitchers who got out of some tough jams," he added.

Ouachita weathered a push by the Bears in the top of the fourth inning where the Warriors gave up three runs and Bearden climbed back into the contest to cut their deficit to 4-3. Bearden scored its runs on a fielder's choice, but the Warriors put together a spark in the bottom of the fourth to regain momentum and scored two runs to lead Bearden 6-3 after four innings of action.

The Warriors got things moving in the first inning. Riley Adams singled on a 2-2 count, scoring two runs to give Ouachta a 2-0 lead. In the second and third innings, the Warriors drove in one run to cross home plate once to take a 4-0 lead.

Bearden sparked in the top of the fifth to score two runs and trail Ouachita 6-5. In the sixth inning, the Warriors stepped up defensively and held the Bears scoreless. The Warriors added one more run in the sixth to take a two-run lead. In the top of the seventh, the Warriors provided the finishing touches on the game and held the Bears scoreless to secure victory for Ouachita at Warrior Field.

For the game, the Warriors totaled seven runs on seven hits. Bearded tallied five runs on three hits with three errors.

On the mound, Kaden Fulmer got the win for Ouachita. Fulmer lasted two and two-thirds innings, allowing three hits and two runs while striking out three batters, no walks and threw 23 strikes. Hunter Rook threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen. Rook recorded the last three outs to earn the save for Ouachita. Rook gave up no runs, hits, struck out one batter and threw five strikes off nine total pitches thrown. Bradley Abernathy started the game for Ouachita. Abernathy allowed no hits, gave up only three runs over three and a third innings, and struck out five batters. He threw 32 strikes across home plate to heat up the strike zone for the Warriors.

Offensively at the plate for the Warriors, Fulmer and Barret Ashby each collected multiple hits to lead Ouachita. Ashby and Fulmer each collected two hits apiece. The trio of Kelton Fowler, Rook and Adams each had a hit apiece. Adams and Fulmer drove in two runs for two RBI's apiece. Fowler, Schultz and Rook each drove in a run for an RBI apiece.

Fowler and Barrett Schultz each scored two runs apiece, Ian Smith, Ashby and Grady Howell each scored a run apiece.

Smith and Fowler led the base running for Ouachita and stole two bases apiece during the game.

Today beginning at 5 p.m, the Warriors will return to baseball competition hosting Haskell Harmony Grove at Warrior Field.

Then next week, the Warriors are scheduled to travel to Arkadelphia and face the A-town Badgers for Sr. Babe Ruth action Tuesday, June 30. Game time set for 6 p.m. at the Youth Sports Complex.