Before Friday’s game against Sheridan, the Pine Bluff baseball team will have to find a way to overcome and prevent the huge innings that they have consistently given up so far this season.
“Only thing we can continue do is work and focus,” Pine Bluff head coach Ryan Stinson said. “We need to focus and bear down when we get in that situation.
“It is all about focus and working hard. It is about getting outs and not making errors.”
In Tuesday’s game against El Dorado, Pine Bluff gave up five runs in the fifth and seventh innings as they lost to the Wildcats 12-6. Against Bryant earlier this season, Pine Bluff gave up 11 runs in one inning and against Star City, Pine Bluff gave up 12 runs in the first inning as they lost 16-1.
“Right now we are just trying to play a good game,” Stinson said. “We are just trying to win a conference game.”
Pine Bluff (4-7, 1-3) defeated Little Rock Fair earlier this year for its only conference win. Sheridan is 1-3 in the 7A/6A South as well, but the Yellowjackets were the state semifinal runner-ups a year ago.
“They are probably going to be a good ball club,” Stinson said. “Coach (Mike) Moore will have them prepared to play.”
Luckily for Pine Bluff, scoring a lot of runs has come at a premium for Sheridan this year.
The Yellowjackets did defeat White Hall, the defending 5A State Champions, 5-4 on Monday after scoring five runs in one inning and Kenton Ramsey pitched a complete game.
After the game, Moore said his team has struggled to score runs this season. The Yellowjackets average about four runs a game and before Monday’s win, had lost three games in a row.
Ramsey allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in seven innings. He also walked three and struck out one. Tadd Daggett was 1 for 3 with a run scored and a RBI. Wyatt Daggett was 1 for 2 with a run scored.
In Tuesday’s loss to El Dorado, Pine Bluff starter Aaron McDonald pitched five innings and allowed seven runs (five earned) on nine hits with two walks and no strikeouts.
Demetrius Anderson pitched 1 1/3, allowing three runs (two earned) on one hit with two walks. Ti’Montai Bolden pitched 2/3 of an inning and allowed two runs (none earned) on one hit with a walk.
Stinson said he would either start junior J’Marlos Johnson or senior Brandon Starks on Friday.
“They have been solid for us on the mound,” Stinson said. “I just want them to be consistent, throw strikes and we will play defense behind them.”
Stinson added that whoever doesn’t start would probably come in for relief.
“Both of them will probably get a chance to pitch,” Stinson said.
In the game against Lake Hamilton on March 26, Johnson came in for an inning of relief. He allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits.
Starks has made just one appearance so far this season. He gave up 12 runs (six earned) on five hits in just 2/3 innings.
The game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. at Sheridan.