Arab’s baseball team ran off three straight wins over the past week before Albertville stopped the streak Tuesday night with a 5-0 win at Arab City Park.
• Arab 10, Guntersville 7 (8)
Last Thursday, the Knights got a little revenge against Guntersville.
While the nine-inning 5-4 loss to the Wildcats earlier in the week felt pretty bad, the eight-inning win last Thursday felt pretty good.
“The games had their similarities but we liked the results a lot better today,” said coach Chad Hudson.
A two-out John Ray Wilks run-scoring hit in the top of the eighth proved to be the difference. But, the Knights had a huge opportunity that could have put the game out of reach much sooner. “We had a 5-1 lead in the fourth with one out and the bases loaded and were unable to score. We had a chance to blow it out there and we didn’t do it.
“You have to give Guntersville credit. That was a big inning for them,” Hudson said.
Guntersville came back to tie the game in the bottom of the inning and led 7-6 going into the seventh when the Knights were able to tie it back up.
John Wesson Johnson and Brody McCain had two hits each for Arab.
“Brody had a big game. He had the hits but even more important, he threw three shutout innings to close out the game for us. A lot of mistakes were made today, but it’s a lot more fun to learn lessons in a win,” Hudson said.
The JV team won 11-8.
• Arab 11, New Hope 1
In the first of two games played at Arab City Park on Saturday, the Knights cruised.
“Hands down, that’s the best we’ve played,” Hudson said. “Gavin McBride had a good day on the mound for us. He didn’t strike out as many as he normally does, but he didn’t walk anybody and we played outstanding defense behind him.
“I haven’t been able to say that much this year.”
McBride allowed six hits in a complete game and struck out four. Dakota NeSmith and Sam Jackson were both 3-for-4, with NeSmith getting three RBIs and Jackson two.
“This is the team we think we can be,” said Hudson.
• Arab 12, Sylvania 6
The Knights’ second game on Saturday got pretty interesting before Arab emerged victorious.
NeSmith’s single in the first inning scored Jackson and the 1-0 lead stood through two innings. Arab picked up another run in the bottom of the third to go up 2-1, but the Rams picked up four runs in the fourth only to see Arab answer with five in the bottom of the inning, including two knocked in on a Hayden Turner double.
The Knights picked up two more runs in the fifth and one in the sixth while the Rams managed only one run in the sixth.
Hudson had mixed emotions after the game.
“I was real disappointed in the way we played,” he said. “Offensively, the first two or three innings we didn’t have good at-bats. Sylvania has some good hitters and it was like we were kind of sleepwalking.
“We had some defensive lapses that left us in a spot and made some base-running mistakes we shouldn’t be making.”
The Knights may actually have been sleep walking a bit. The middle game of the triple-header was a marathon that saw New Hope defeat Sylvania 24-11. With the long wait and temperatures dropping rapidly at sunset, it made for a long day – and night – at the ballpark.
“I am proud of how we rallied. We had some good at-bats late in the game and Dakota was throwing it well tonight,” Hudson added.
NeSmith struck out eight in five innings and allowed two hits while walking one. Turner had five strikeouts in the last two innings, walking one and giving up two hits.
NeSmith also had two hits at the plate, as did Landon Law and Weslee Staton.
The JV team did not play Saturday.
• Albertville 5, Arab 0
Hudson’s mixed emotions late Saturday proved prophetic Tuesday night as the Knights were blanked at home.
Jackson pitched a good game through five innings and Bradley Ridgeway finished the last two innings strong.
But, miscues in the field were the big story for the Knights. Three Aggie batters got on base due to errors in one inning alone. To be fair, a lot of balls were in those tough to field places that make it hard to make a play.
But, Arab was not getting much offense, either. Albertville pitcher Alex Johnson went all the way, giving up only three hits over seven innings. He never faced more than five batters in any one inning and had nine strikeouts.
Hudson was a bit more descriptive.
“Our pitching was real good. Sam pitched well (three strikeouts, three walks and five hits), and he’s done nothing but pitch well this year,” he said. “He’s had good outings and deserved better.
“He should have left the game with a 2-0 score at the worst, certainly not 5-0. Bradley did a really nice job when he came in and had a couple of clean innings. Defensively, though, we were bad. There’s no way around it.
“The guys that have got to make plays didn’t tonight. But, it didn’t really matter the way we swung the bat. Hats off to their guy (Johnson). He threw great and didn’t walk people. He mainly threw fastballs but you know, it was enough to get it done.
“I was very disappointed in that we had six strikeouts looking – that’s not very competitive.
“We finally had some good at-bats late from Landon Law and Weslee Staton that ended with bad luck. We hit some hard balls right at them but those are the kind of at-bats we need to have a chance to win but we didn’t have nearly enough of those.”
The JV team won 8-0.
Arab (6-7) will be at Albertville tonight.