Warriors compete hard in tough home defeat to Arkadelphia

By: 
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

DONALDSON — The Ouachita Warriors had a tough and challenging task on the diamond Friday in their debut of baseball action against the Arkadelphia Badgers during Sr. Babe Ruth League baseball competition at Warrior Field.
The Warriors battled hard, but Arkadelphia’s early spark in the first and third innings led to a 14-3 victory against Ouachita in their five inning bout.
Arkadelphia’s surge began in the first inning to score four runs on a single and a triple to lead Ouachita 4-0.
Ouachita created a spark to rally back offensively in the bottom of the first to score one run at home, but trailed Arkadelphia 4-1.
In the second, Ouachita and Arkadelphia both displayed productive defensive efforts and held each other scoreless in the inning. But in the top of the third, Arkadelphia scored seven runs for their biggest inning of the game.
Arkadelphia’s offense in the inning led the Badgers to a 11-1 lead against Ouachita.
Despite the Warriors having a 10-run deficit, Ouachita managed to spark for two runs scored in the third, but trailed Arkadelphia, 11-3.
With momentum in the Badger’s corner, Arkadelphia would add one run in the fourth inning, then scored two runs in the fifth. Defensively, the Badgers held the Warriors scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings, which led to Arkadelphia’s 11-run victory against Ouachita.
For the game, Ouachita collected three runs off three hits, while Arkadelphia tallied 14 runs on 13 hits with one error.
On the mound, the Warriors’ Hunter Rook started the game pitching. Rook surrendered 11 runs on 10 hits, struck out two batters and threw 40 strikes over two and two-thirds innings of work. Ivan Smith pitched one and one-third innings giving up one earned run, one hit, struck out two batters and threw 18 strikes. Barrett Schultz pitched one inning, gave up two hits, two earned runs, struck out one batter and threw 12 strikes across home plate.
Offensively at the plate, Keith Miller had one hit, Smith and Bradley Abernathy each recorded a hit for the Warriors. Ketlon Folwer scored a run, Smith and Bralyn Maynard each scored a run apiece. Kaden Fulmer and Barret Ashby each drove in a run for an RBI apiece.
The Warriors collected five stolen bases for productive base running. Miller led with two stolen bases, while Smith, Fowler and Maynard each had one stolen base apiece.
Ouachita Warriors head baseball coach Anthony Nail was thrilled for his players to finally return to the field for some action after being off several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nail knew the Warriors would have a little rust from being off from game action, but thought they worked hard to make plays for an overall productive performance.
“It was good getting back out there on the field again after such a long layoff. We knew there would be some rust to knock off, and that’s definitely the case for our hitters and they get readjusted to seeing live pitching, but overall I wasn’t too disappointed in our fundamentals,” Nail said.
“Pitchers need to get ahead in the count and hitters need to be more aggressive in the strike zone. Those things will continue to get better,” he added.
Nail hopes to utilize the Sr. Babe Ruth league to help the Warriors improve and enhance their abilities to perform productively as a team against stiff competition on the high school level.
The Warriors will return to action today hosting Haskell Harmony Grove beginning at 5 p.m. at Warrior Field.

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