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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Hornets sting Panthers in Greene’s debut

  • Panthers Coach B.J. Greene got his first glimpse of his new ball club in a game situation Tuesday as Heber Springs hosted Maumelle for its extended season opener. Greene found plenty of room for improvement as the Hornets jumped out to a 5-0 first inning lead and coasted to a 13-0 victory.

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  • Panthers Coach B.J. Greene got his first glimpse of his new ball club in a game situation Tuesday as Heber Springs hosted Maumelle for its extended season opener. Greene found plenty of room for improvement as the Hornets jumped out to a 5-0 first inning lead and coasted to a 13-0 victory.
    “You don’t ever want to lose and especially don’t want to get beat like that,” said Greene. “The one thing I saw today is we just didn’t swing the bat. We struck out too many times. We’ve got to do a better job of getting up there and wanting to hit. Some of the guys were letting two strikes go before they ever got the bat off their shoulder and we are not a good enough hitting team to do that.”
    Greene continued, “First game for me as the head coach and like Coach [Jeff] Bise and Coach [Mark] Brigance said there is not a lot of inexperience. Looking down the bench some of these kids have not played a lot of varsity innings. That is what this summer is for, getting better and getting more reps.”
    Maumelle left-hander Jacob Hollingworth, who picked up the win on the mound while limiting the Panthers to four hits and striking out nine in four innings of work, helped his cause at the plate in top the first inning by driving home two runs with a single to right field.
    Facing Heber starting pitcher Michael Kramer, Trey Koen added a 2 RBI single as the Hornets took advantage of two hit batsmen and two walks while taking a 4-0 lead, which grew to 5-0 when Austin Brown scorched a two-out RBI single to center.
    Kramer ended the top half with a strikeout, leaving runners stranded at the corners.
    Tyler Dennis beat out a bunt single to start the bottom half of the first but Hollingsworth retired three straight, including two by strikeout.
    Heber relief pitcher Chandler Marquardt retired the Hornets in order in the second and Kramer led off the bottom half with a double to deep left field. But, Hollingsworth fired back with three straight strikeouts.
    Marquardt pitched around a D’Onte Moore single and hit batsman in the third and the Panthers tried to stir up a rally in the bottom half as Dennis reached on an error and Moore beat out an infield single aided by an aggressive hit-and-run play.
    Hollingsworth responded again, this time using a strikeout and inducing groundout to leave two runners stranded.
    Leading 5-0, Maumelle busted the game wide open with four runs in the fourth, highlighted by a 3 RBI double to deep left center off the bat of Mason Quick.
    In the bottom half, Zahn Crider pulled a single to left field in his first at-bat of the game and he took third on an errant pickoff with one out. But, Hollingsworth recorded two straight strikeouts and retired Conner Lindsey on a sharp line drive to shortstop.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Hornets tacked on four runs in the top of the fifth, including a two-run triple to deep center off the bat of Walker Culp. Leading 13-0 entering the bottom half, Koen relieved Hollingsworth and sat down the Panthers in order to close out the game.
    Greene found a positive in Marquardt’s effort on the mound. “He said ‘Coach I only throw a fastball.’ I said that’s okay just throw strikes and he did that. They only hit two hard balls off him. He did a good job of keeping us in the game.”
    Heber is scheduled to compete in a junior varsity tournament at Lakewood Park in North Little Rock this weekend. The Panthers play Vilonia tonight at 8:30 p.m. with a second game set for Saturday at 10 a.m.
     

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