BY NORM BETZ –
The Mena Bearcats lost a heart breaker to Fountain Lake in the first-round of the District Tournament, after leading five and a half innings. The Bearcats out hit the Cobras 10-9 but had six costly errors, to Fountain Lake’s three errors.
Mena scored three runs in the top of the first on three hits. Brandon Field doubled to left field, Jackson Daugherty singled to left, and Bronson Castillo singled to left as well. Seth Puckett reached on a fielder’s choice and the Bearcats ultimately led 3-0, in the middle of the first inning.
Fountain Lake had three touch the bags in the bottom of the inning via a walk, an error and a single to left field, but couldn’t answer with any runs.
Preston Miller led off the second with a single, but was left stranded after a pair of ground outs and a strike out.
Puckett gave up one single, struck out one and had some defensive help with a ground out and a line out. Mena led 3-0 after two innings.
Neither team scored in the third inning. Mena held onto a 3-0 lead in between the third and fourth inning.
Fountain Lake knotted the score at 3-all after Puckett gave up three runs on two hits. Five Cobras reached base in the bottom of the fourth inning. Two via hits, two via errors and one walk. The Cobras tied the Bearcats 3-3 at the end of the fourth inning.
Daugherty and K. Miller both singled to start off the fifth inning, with Daugherty scoring on an error to put the Bearcats back on top, 4-3.
The first Cobra singled but went no where as the next three Cobras went down, all by fly outs. Mena hung onto a 4-3 lead over Fountain Lake after five innings.
Mena scored two runs on three hits an error and a walk, to go up 6-3 in the top of the sixth inning. Ryan Ozanich, P. Miller, and K. Miller all singled, while Daugherty reached on an error and Brandon Fields reach on a walk. Ozanich scored on an error, P. Miller scored on a single by K. Miller, and Fields went home on a fielder’s choice to put the Bearcats up 6-3 in the middle of the sixth inning.
Fountain Lake answered with four runs on three hits to grab their first lead of the game, 7-6.
Mena, after leading the whole game, could not respond in the top of the seventh, as Fountain Lake struck out the side. The only Bearcat to reach in the inning was Puckett and that was a seven pitch walk.
With the 7-6 loss, the Bearcats ended their long season with just two victories, while tallying 13 losses on the year.