After a tumultuous preseason, the Bulldogs have been on a roll in 7A-West play. They’ve won seven straight games to get above .500 overall for the first time this season (10-9 overall, 5-1 7A-West).
Four of those seven wins have been shutouts thanks to solid defensive play behind starting pitchers Hayes Cox and Miller Pleimann, who has thrown four consecutive one-hitters.
This past week, Fayetteville swept Rogers High with Pleimann pitching the way to a 1-0 victory in nine innings on Monday and a Cox pitching during a 6-0 win on Tuesday.
Fayetteville coach Scott Gallagher said going a combined 3-7 during tournaments in Texas and Arizona was rough, but the high level of competition prepared his Bulldogs for 7A-West play.
“We’ve been road warriors, as they say,” Gallagher said after Monday’s victory, which was just the team’s third home game. “We’ve played some good teams out of Texas, Arizona, California. We played a couple of teams in Texas with quite a few Division-I players and faced a guy throwing 94 (mph) out of Colorado and lost to them 2-1.
“We gave us this schedule, so we’ll be ready at the end of the year. That’s what it’s all about. We’ve learned a lot about our group, but it really made us kind of gel a little bit and we’ve came back and played really well.”
Fayettville looks to continue its solid play when it plays Germantown (Tenn.) Houston High at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Conway.
— Mike Capshaw • @NWACappy
The Mounties (5-9,1-5 7A-West) struggled offensively earlier this week, begin swept in two 7A-West Conference games by Fayetteville.
Rogers has lost four of its last five games, but were shut out over 16 innings against the Purple Bulldogs. Sophomore McKaden Templeton lost a tough pitchers’ dual 1-0 in nine innings on Monday, but Fayetteville pitchers also blanked the Mounties 6-0 on Tuesday.
Rogers combined for just five hits in both games.Templeton accounted for one of those hits, but did well on the mound. He allowed a run on seven hits over eight innings of work. Templeton struck out four and walked two.
The Mounties will try to get back on track this weekend in Claremore, Okla., then take on Van Buren in league play on Monday and Tuesday.
— Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB
The Red’Dogs grabbed wins No. 10 and 11 this week after a sweep of Bentonville West in two hard-fought games.
Springdale took the first game of the series on Tuesday, 3-1, behind a complete-game effort from pitcher Andrew Roach, who grabbed his fourth win of the season. Roach struck out five and scattered five hits.
The offense in the win came courtesy Will Mueller and Tanner Sargent from the bottom of the order. The duo finished with an RBI apiece, helping snap a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning. Game two of the day between teams was suspended due to weather with Springdale ahead 4-3 in the sixth.
When they finally resumed play Wednesday at West, it took nine innings to finish. But the Red’Dogs added four runs in the ninth, highlighted by Michael Harrington’s 2-run double. Springdale improved to 11-7 on the year and 3-3 in 7A-West play.
Coach Scott Johnson’s club steps outside of the league to face Arkansas baseball and football commit Connor Noland and Greenwood today at 5 p.m. at Bob Lyall Field.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
Har-Ber saw its five-game winning streak come to an abrupt end Tuesday against Bentonville High.
The Wildcats were shut out for the first time this season and recorded a season-low two hits – Caleb Grace recorded a double and Mac McCroskey added a single – in the loss. That’s all the offensive help starting pitcher Blake Adams received.
Adams threw his third straight complete game, gave up four hits, three runs – two earned – and struck out eight. He did, though, surrender a two-run home run to the Tigers’ Bryce Davis, which turned out to be all Bentonville would need.
Har-Ber hopes to earn a weekly split today as the Wildcats travel to Bentonville for a 5 p.m. first pitch. Entering Thursday, Har-Ber is 10-3 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie