Rams dominate Zebras, sweep doubleheader,
Lakeside showed up against Pine Bluff as the Rams swept a doubleheader against the Zebras Tuesday, winning the first 11-6 and the second 20-3 by run rule.
“Overall, we did what we needed to do,” Lakeside head coach Garrett Bock said. “I thought the first game we came out a little flat, and started the second game and came out flat, but the guys responded and did what they were supposed to do tonight. … Every time they scored, we responded. At the end there, we finished strong. Overall, we played pretty good defense tonight.”
Pine Bluff head coach Ryan Stinson was disappointed with his team’s performance.
“We didn’t play good baseball,” he said. “You’ve got to do the little things in this game, or it’s gonna come back to bite you. You know, if you don’t catch the ball, throw it and run and can’t hit, it’s gonna be a tough deal all around. We’re kind of young in places, so we’re still growing and working on it. It’s one of those things where if you don’t play baseball the right way, it’s gonna come back to bite you.”
The Rams produced seven runs before Pine Bluff made it onto the scoreboard. The hosts got things going fast as Brennan Browning stole third after reaching on an error, Brady Arnold plating him on an RBI double to left field before Ethan Cevela hit a fly ball to deep center to send Arnold home.
The Zebras struggled offensively with Lakeside’s Andrew Cox on the mound, and defensively, they unable to keep Lakeside off the bases. In the top of the fourth with a 3-0 lead, the Rams picked up four runs with RBIs by Ballard, Cevela and Will Ross. However, the Zebras finally struck gold with a three-run home run
from Cason Blunt.
In the top of the fifth, Lakeside’s Wyatt Gibson stepped in as relief on the hill. Lakeside squeezed in a few more runs to widen the lead by eight, but the Zebras attempted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, spotting a hole between third and shortstop.
A double play by Lakeside slowed down the Zebras’ offense after two runs before Blake Hegwood stole home from third to close out game one.
Despite the loss, Stinson pointed out some things the Zebras executed well.
“I thought we hit the ball pretty good,” he said. “Pitching was OK. Defense has always been a sore thumb for us in certain instances and certain innings. We give up the big innings, and I think if we can ever stop doing that, we’ll become a better ball team.”
The second game started out better for Pine Bluff, Blunt hitting a fly ball to reach and Ballard walking Carroll to have two on the front side of the diamond. Hegwood hit a two-RBI single to plate Blunt and Carroll as Landon Holcomb drove in Hegwood for the 3-0 advantage.
The Rams tied up the game quickly with a two-RBI single over shortstop from Cox, adding another run for the lead.
Ballard held the Zebras at bay in the top of the second, allowing one hit out of four appearances at the plate. With Lakeside pushing its lead out to 9-3, the bottom of the fourth proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Zebras.
Relief pitcher Terron Jenkins allowed six walks in the inning with the bases loaded three times. Pine Bluff’s defense could not seem to catch a break, runs pouring in one after another for 11 scores to seal the win.
Cevela and Ethan Rogers scored three runs each while Ballard, Arnold, Prince and Browning scored two apiece. Ballard also had three RBIs.
Lakeside hosts Hot Springs Friday at 5 p.m. while Pine Bluff hosts Texarkana.