By Jimmy Stinson
It came down to one inning and a lack of execution for the Muskogee at Roughers Park on Friday night.
The Roughers (9-9) gave up seven runs, two unearned, in the second inning and fell 12-5 to the Fayetteville (Ark.) Bulldogs.
MHS led 2-0 when a walk given up by Roughers starter Tony Horn was the beginning of the downfall. The next batter for the Bulldogs, third baseman Logan Hiatt, grounded to third baseman Taylor Fisher for what should have been a routine double play ball. However, Fisher’s throw was wide of the bag at second and the flood gates were opened.
Fayetteville (9-1) would send nine more batters to the plate and score those seven runs. Grant Rock singled, followed by an RBI double by Kyle Pate and a two-run single by Davis Huddleston. The Bulldogs’ Forrest Johnson walked and was driven in on a two-run double by Carson Shaddy.
Horn (2-1) who was tagged with the loss, was replaced on the hill by Cody Floyd who struck out the first Bulldog he faced and forced Hiatt to hit a lazy fly ball to center field to end the scoring.
The Roughers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, thanks to a Garrett Brown single and Luke Smith’s RBI double. Smith scored on a single by Dakota Morse.
Muskogee added two more baserunners who were hit by pitches, but two strikeouts and a grounder that was snagged by Fayetteville’s pitcher ended the threat.
“Early I thought we had a couple of chances to put pressure on them and stretch the lead a little bit but we didn’t take advantage of those spots we had,” said Roughers coach Jeremy Griffin. “We put pressure on them and you could tell they were getting a little rattled.”
MHS left the bases loaded in the first inning and eight on for the game. “We didn’t execute at the plate to continue to put that pressure on them,” added Griffin.
Floyd held Fayetteville scoreless through the third and fourth innings but got into trouble in the top of the fifth. A leadoff walk two fly balls and two doubles was the end for Floyd who was relieved by Harris Jones.
Jones forced a groundout to third to end the inning. “I thought our pitchers did well,” added coach Griffin. “We have to make plays behind them.”
The Roughers added two more runs in the fourth inning. Horn singled and scored on a wild pitch. Brown walked and scored on sacrifice fly to right filed by Harris Jones but the inning ended on a baserunning mistake by Morse, who got too far away from the bag rounding second and was gunned down by the Bulldogs’ catcher.
Garrett Brown was the most productive Rougher at the plate. He reached base in all four at-bats with a single, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. He scored three times.
“We made a lot of errors and didn’t hit the ball like we should have,” Brown said.
The Roughers return to action today at home facing Bartlesville in a noon doubleheader.