Rogers High may have found its groove at the perfect time.
The Mounties have won seven consecutive games and climbed into sole possession of second place in the 6A-West Conference.
BASEBALL STATISTICAL LEADERS
BATTING (through Tuesday, April 16)
MINIMUM 20 AT-BATS
Brown, Shiloh Christian^0.462^65^29^30^21^14^1^3^10^3^0.846
Duddleston, Shiloh Christian^0.413^63^18^26^22^4^1^2^7^1^0.603
Wood, Springdale Har-Ber^0.412^68^16^28^21^8^0^1^5^16^0.574
Williams, Shiloh Christian^0.400^70^10^28^11^5^0^0^3^1^0.471
Harderson, West Fork^0.395^38^8^15^8^1^2^1^8^9^0.605
Allen, West Fork^0.393^28^7^11^7^3^0^0^11^1^0.500
Serrano, Siloam Springs^0.391^64^17^25^14^7^0^1^9^3^0.547
N. Brewer, Mansfield^0.381^42^12^16^7^3^0^0^2^2^0.452
PITCHING (through Tuesday, April 16)
MINIMUM 17 INNINGS
C.Johnson, Van Buren^0.88^3^1^0^31.2^22^7^4^7^34
Partin, FS Southside^1.13^4^1^0^43.1^37^21^7^12^41
Adams, Springdale Har-Ber^1.13^6^0^0^43.1^22^14^7^21^69
Williams, Shiloh Christian^1.66^5^0^0^38^15^13^9^20^69
Chaffin, FS Southside^1.91^1^4^0^25.2^30^16^7^5^26
Acuff, Springdale Har-Ber^2.01^2^2^4^24.1^16^13^7^8^30
Wilkerson, Van Buren^2.08^2^1^0^30.1^21^13^9^7^36
Statistics are provided by baseball coaches in the NWA Democrat-Gazette coverage area. Statistics can be emailed to email@example.com or coaches may provide access to their Game Changer statistics. The deadline to submit statistics is noon Wednesday.
Prep Baseball Standings
North Little Rock^4-5^9-12
Rogers (13-7, 7-3 6A-West) went through some offensive struggles earlier this season, but patience has paid off, Mounties coach Matt Melson said.
"We had guys trying to get everything back with one swing whether it was a big swing or chasing pitches," Melson said. "Guys are trusting each other a little more. Patient at-bats and a good approach at the plate have been keys for us."
Will Lawing is one player who swung the bat well in some junior varsity games and made the most of his opportunities at the varsity level. The junior helped get a lagging offense going a couple of weeks ago after the Mounties scored just one run in a four-game losing streak.
"He's provided a spark," Melson said. "You always look for a guy who gets the opportunity to step up and makes the most of it, and he's done that."
Pitcher Marc Sussman is another who has helped out. The junior left-hander slotted in as a conference starter while senior McKayden Templeton has been sidelined with a sore arm and he's done well.
"McKayden's been our bell cow for four years," Melson said. "Marc's been a guy who's kinda saved us. He'll throw strikes, and he gets ahead of hitters early."
Templeton has stayed in the lineup as a designated hitter, but he could return to the mound as early as next week, Melson said. That could be another shot in the arm for the Mounties as they come down the stretch with just four league games left before the state tournament.
Rogers takes on defending state champion Springdale Har-Ber next week, before facing crosstown rival Rogers Heritage to finish league play.
Red'Dogs jump into playoff picture
Springdale High suffered close loss after close loss this season -- eight one-run losses -- but it finally broke through with a 6A-West sweep of Fayetteville this week.
The Red'Dogs (9-15, 3-7 6A-West) had lost 11 games by three runs or less. But they jumped in front early in each Fayetteville game this week and earned 10-0 and 9-5 wins to get back into the state tournament picture.
Springdale coach Scott Johnson was just pleased to finally see his players reap some rewards for their hard work this week.
"I've been coaching for 16 years, and this is the most adversity I've seen a team go through," Johnson said. "To come out and work like they work and fight like they fight, I'm proud to see them rewarded with some success. Who knows, man? If we can keep playing ball like that maybe we can make a run at this thing."
Springdale finishes league play against Bentonville High and Van Buren, two teams just above them in the standings. Van Buren is a game ahead of the Red'Dogs at 4-6, while Bentonville leads them by two at 5-5.
Johnson said his players have continued to persevere, despite the close losses.
"With the world we live in today, so many view things based on instant gratification," Johnson said. "They have been through a lot, and a lot of teams would have laid down.
"We've been pitching and playing good defense for a while now. But we haven't been swinging it. The last few games we got a little confidence and were able to string some hits together. It's a funny game. If you can get hot at the right time, you never know what can happen."
Johnson is playing anywhere from four to five seniors in the starting lineup depending on the starting pitcher. Brock Pounders has set the table in the lead-off spot, scoring a team-high 26 runs.
Will Mueller leads the team, hitting .380. Alex Bowers, a junior, has a team-high 16 RBIs, while Mueller, Christopher Harvey (another junior) and Nick West have driven in 14 runs each.
"It's a combination of everybody involved doing their job," Johnson said. "We're fighting for our lives every day right now."
Young Goblins making waves in 4A-1
Harrison coach Greg Crow has seen his young team play well in spots this season, but he's still looking for more as the Goblins head into postseason play.
Harrison (15-5, 7-0 4A-1 Conference) heads into a showdown today at Shiloh Christian, which sits at 6-1. But Crow hopes this will be only the first of a few meetings between his team and Shiloh Christian over the next few weeks with the conference and regional tournaments coming up before the state tournament.
"We haven't played our best game yet," Crow said. "We've shown some signs and done really well at times."
Harrison, which won a state title in 2015, had a streak of 17 consecutive state tournament appearances snapped last year. But the Goblins dropped from Class 5A to 4A this year and have enjoyed some success, but they are still searching for consistency because of their youth. They return all nine starters from a year ago, but only three of them are seniors.
The trio of Tanner Taylor behind the plate, Thailer Lovell playing a middle infield spot and Carson Journagan at third base are those senior leaders.
The outfield defense should get a boost when left fielder Noah Moix, a sophomore, comes back from a broken thumb, Crow said.
"Defensively, he's really good," Crow said. "That's a big lift for us. He's missed about three weeks after breaking his thumb in Florida."
Junior Colton Shaver and sophomore Breckin Duck have been the Goblins' two starting pitchers for conference games, just like last season.
"Colton had some arm issues early, but he's coming around," Crow said.
Sports on 04/19/2019
Print Headline: PREP BASEBALL REPORT