by Hunter Dawkins

After dropping two straight home games; including one against district opponent Stone County Tuesday night, the Long Beach Bearcats jumped on the scoreboard Friday night.

The first inning-6 run tally against the Stone County Tomcats proved to be crucial for the Bearcats as they held on to win 10-9.  Four Long Beach players had multiple hits to a collect a total of twelve and two walks.

Long Beach (5-12, 3-1) Junior Cade Crosby started off the game being hit by a pitch, which occurred another time during the game.  This began the downward spiral of the inning with Bearcats Juniors Dalton Cook walking then Kyle Parks singling home Crosby.  Once Long Beach Senior Kai Vancourt walked, pinch runner Freshman Harrison Bull scored on a wild pitch.  Senior Logan Sutherlin followed with a laser single to bring in Parks.  With Vancourt, Sutherlin scoring runs off a wild pitch plus a sacrifice and Sophomore Brent Garner crossing home plate on Crosby’s double, the score at the end of the inning was 6-0.

Unfortunately, the Bearcats didn’t score for the next few innings while allowing Stone County to put four runs on the board in the bottom of the third inning.

At the top of the fifth inning, Long Beach’s Sutherlin came through with a right field single driving in Vancourt.  In the next inning, Crosby scored on a wild pitch followed by another Sutherlin single drove in Vancourt again.  Finishing up the sixth inning, the score was 9-4 Long Beach.

The final run scored by the Bearcats may have been the most significant with Crosby hitting a ground rule double bringing in Long Beach Senior Matthew Hertzog to increase the lead 10-4.

Regardless of the six-run lead, Stone County made the Bearcats earn the victory by knocking a three run home run and scoring on two errors.  Long Beach brought in relief Freshman Zack Wright to throw the final five pitches for the win.

Bearcats infielder Crosby reached base four times, being hit and doubling twice, while scoring two runs along with a couple of runs batted in (RBIs).  Long Beach outfielder Sutherlin had three hits and RBIs to lead the team.  Seniors Vancourt scored three times, while Hertzog collected multiple hits.

Long Beach Senior Drake Hogue came close to going the distance, but the seventh inning proved to me a little too much.  Hogue did allow nine runs and hits, but struck out eight with only two walks for six and 2/3 innings earning the victory.

The Wolf River Rivalry matchup against West Harrison at 7pm has large implications Tuesday night on Michael Rutledge Field in Long Beach.  Both teams are in a solid tie for first place in the district, which the results will lead to playoff implications