Warriors display strong defense in tough loss to Harmony Grove

Ouachita baseball head coach Anthony Nail applauds the Warriors for productive defense after an inning against Harmony Grove.EYEING THE STRIKE ZONE: Ouachita Warrior pitcher Ian Smith (6) prepares to launch some heat from the mound across the plate for a strike out.Ouachita Warrior Keith Miller (12) avoids being tagged out to steal second base.
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

DONALDSON — The Ouachita Warriors were challenged by another productive baseball program in the state Tuesday for their second game in the Sr. Babe Ruth League at Warrior Field.
The Warriors battled hard to spark throughout the contest, but came up short to the Haskell Harmony Grove Cardinals 7-1 in a seven inning contest on the diamond.
In the top of the first inning, Harmony Grove got their offense started at the plate with a double on a 3-2 count, scoring one run.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Warriors tied things up at 1-1 with a single by Barrett Schultz on a 2-0 count, scoring one run.
In the second inning, the Warriors and the Cardinals both showcased their defense and held each other scoreless.
In the third inning, Harmony Grove pulled away for good with one run scored to lead Ouachita, 2-1.
Offensively, the Warriors provided a hard effort to rally back at the plate, but fell short to drive runs in their comeback. Despite being held scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings, the Cardinals capitalized on opportunities in the sixth inning to score five runs for a six-run lead against Ouachita, 7-1.
In the seventh inning, the Warriors held the Cardinals scoreless, but fell short to spark in the bottom of the seventh. Defensively, the Warriors kept Harmony Grove off the board for runs in the second, fourth, fifth and seventh innings of action.
For the game, the Warriors scored one run on three hits, while the Cardinals racked up seven runs on seven hits with an error.
At the plate for Ouachita, Ian Smith collected a double for a hit and Schultz and Kaden Fulmer each had a single apiece. Schultz had the lone RBI, and Keith Miller scored the Warriors only run for the game.
On the mound, Smith pitched four innings, allowed two runs on four hits, struck out eight batters and threw 41 strikes. Miller pitched one inning, allowed one hit, no runs and threw 11 strikes. Bradley Abernathy pitched one inning, allowed one hit, five earned runs and threw 11 strikes. Hunter Rook pitched an inning, gave up one hit, no runs, struck out three batters and threw 14 strikes.
Miller led the base running for the Warriors and had two stolen bases.
Ouachita Warriors head baseball coach Anthony Nail was pleased by the effort and work his team displayed against Harmony Grove for seven innings of action. Nail knows there is still room for improvement, but the Warriors provided an overall productive defensive performance against a solid, disciplined and well-coached Harmony Grove baseball team.
“I was happy with my pitchers for the most part, we got a lot of outs with runners in scoring position to limit damage, but we walked and hit too many batters to put ourselves in those situations to start with. The defense played great. I was happy to see how well we played in that aspect,” Nail said.
“Our approach at the plate still isn’t where we want it to be yet. We’re still watching too many pitches and often waiting until 2 strikes to start swinging. I’m pleased how we hung in there against a solid program like Harmony Grove, but there are lots of things within our control that we can do better regardless of the opponent,” he added.
The Warriors will have time to regroup and are scheduled to return to action Tuesday, June 23 to face Malvern for their first road game for Sr. Babe Ruth League baseball action.
Game time is set at 6 p.m. at Malvern National Bank Field at Morrison Park.