MONETTE Making good use of only six hits against the Walnut Ridge Bobcats here last Thursday night, and behind a stellar three-hit complete-game pitching performance by Josh Shepard, the Buffalo Island Central Mustangs rallied for all four of their runs in the sixth inning to defeat the Bobcats, 4-1.
"This was one big win for us," Mustang head coach Bill Taylor said about the victory.
"We made some good defensive plays that kept us in the game and we finally put everything together offensively in the sixth."
The Mustangs (8-2) struggled to plate runs in the early innings against Walnut Ridge starting pitcher Ryan Belcher but got the offense going in the fourth.
Brandon Ballard led off the inning with a single, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Brett Sexton. Mark Hawkins then drilled a two RBI double to put the Mustangs up 2-1. Preston Despain then knocked in Hawkins for a 3-1 Mustang lead. Chris Deeds capped off the inning's scoring with a two-out double to drive in Despain.
Shepard's win on the mound boosts his record to 2-1.
On Monday, the Mustangs picked up another big win, defeating Bay on the road, 8-7.
Ballard and Brooks Taylor each homered in the win. Taylor launched a two-run blast with Ballard hitting a three-run dinger. Hawkins had two hits on the afternoon and also picked up his third pitching win of the year. Ballard picked up the save.
Last Tuesday, the Mustangs took a 4-1 lead over Riverside, however, the game was suspended after four innings due to rain. The game will be resumed at the point where it was suspended.
Buffalo Island Central has a full schedule of games slated for this week. The boys were scheduled to travel to Rector on Monday, play at Riverside on Tuesday, host Clarkton at Monette on Wednesday then host Turrell on Thursday. Nettleton will travel to Monette on Friday before the Mustangs host a Saturday three-way playing Bay at noon and then battling Viola at 4 p.m.