Rolland pitches Mustangs past Rebels
Buffalo Island Central has been the Class AA State Baseball runner-up the last two seasons, but the Riverside Rebels have held the upper hand, dealing the Mustangs season opening losses each time.
Wednesday afternoon at Monette, Derek Rolland made sure it didn't happen a third straight year, as the senior righthander fanned 13 Rebels and teamed with reliever Trevor Matheny to handcuff Riverside 5-2 in BIC's season opener.
BIC jumped on top early by scoring two unearned runs in the bottom of the first. The Rebels tied the game 2-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, thanks to a couple of wild pitches by Rolland.
Mustang shortstop Brooks Taylor lined a clean single to centerfield to start the BIC fifth inning. Tyler Timms (0-1) then gave up back to back walks to Rolland and catcher Jordan Phillips, loading the bases. Clean-up batter Chris Deeds worked the count to 1-1 before Timms nailed the first baseman on the left shoulder, forcing in what proved to be the winning run as the Mustangs took a 3-2 lead. Second baseman Lonnie Cole then drew Timms' third walk of the inning, forcing in another run, pushing the lead to 4-2.
The Mustangs added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, scoring an unearned run on a Timms throwing error. Rolland worked six innings, giving up only two hits before turning things over to Matheny who pitched a perfect 1-2-3- inning to earn the save. Timms went the distance for the Rebels, allowing just three hits while giving up all five runs, four of which were earned.
The Mustangs played host to Walnut Ridge Thursday afternoon but proved to be their own worst enemy. BIC committed seven errors and gave up eight unearned runs as the Bobcats came away with an 8-2 victory. BIC stranded 16 runners to fall to 1-1 on the season. Brooks Taylor (0-1) took the loss, giving up two unearned runs. The senior righthander struck out two and walked a pair. Adam Hufstedler went the distance to pick up the win for Walnut Ridge.
Brooks Taylor blasted a grand slam home run and drove in five to lead the Mustangs to a 15-3 romp over Piggott Friday afternoon at Monette. Taylor went 4-4 at the plate and scored a pair of runs. Chad Williams was a perfect 3-3 with two runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Trevor Matheny went 2-2 with two RBIs while Garrett Qualls was 2-2 with three runs scored. Matheny went the distance to pick up the win, striking out 10 Mohawks. The righthander gave up six hits and one earned run while issuing just one walk.
BIC also picked up a forfeit victory over Maynard Friday afternoon when the Tigers failed to arrive for their scheduled game. BIC improves to 3-1 on the season and 2-1 in 3AA North Conference action.
BIC will return to action March 23-25 as they play host to the Xtra innings Tournament at Monette. The Mustangs are scheduled to play Southside-Bee Branch Thursday afternoon at 1:30, and will play Friday afternoon at 1:30 against Junction City. BIC will close the week with a 5:30 Saturday afternoon contest against Manila.