Rogers picks up 5-0 shutout against Greenwood

Ty Anderson of Rogers delivers a pitch during Friday’s game against Greenwood at the Mountie Baseball Complex in Rogers. More photos available at
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)
Ty Anderson of Rogers delivers a pitch during Friday’s game against Greenwood at the Mountie Baseball Complex in Rogers. More photos available at (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

ROGERS -- Pitching, defense and plenty of small ball was a winning formula for the Rogers baseball team Friday.

Two Mounties pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts, and Rogers scrounged up enough runs in a 5-0 nonconference victory over Greenwood at the Mountie Baseball Complex.

"That's kind of been our calling card," Rogers Coach Matt Melson said. "We're not going to score 10 runs a game, but it was a typical game. We'd like to have more quality at-bats up and down the lineup. There's a few spots we need to get going. When your arms are throwing like that, one run seems like 10."

Rogers (12-2) led 2-0 going into the bottom of the sixth when it added three insurance runs, aided by consecutive RBI bunt hits by Caleb Champion and Jacob Watson, several stolen bases and a couple of Greenwood errors.

Hudson Henagan led off the inning with a walk and pinch runner Dracen Voak moved to third when a sacrifice bunt by Bryson McIntosh resulted in an error.

Champion's bunt for a base hit scored Voak, and another error led to McIntosh scoring for a 4-0 lead. Champion then stole second and third before scoring on Watson's bunt hit for a 5-0 lead.

"We felt like we were able to exert some pressure there," Melson said. "I think their pitchers started to think a little more about our runners than they did about our hitters."

The Mounties played errorless ball until the seventh inning when an errant throw allowed a Greenwood runner to reach. But Aidan Linson, who pitched two scoreless innings of relief of starter Ty Anderson, got the next three outs to record the save.

Anderson pitched 5 scoreless innings with 8 strikeouts and 2 hits and did not walk a batter. Linson then helped protect the 2-0 lead with 4 strikeouts, 1 walk and no hits allowed.

"They kept us off balance all day," Greenwood Coach Brandon Brewer said. "We did not make adjustments with two strikes. We talked about it. We put no pressure on them. We made it pretty easy for them. ... They did a good job. You've got to tip your cap. They threw strikes and kept us off balance."

The Mounties took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Zach Lawing singled with two outs and moved from first to third on Linson's opposite-field single. The Mounties then executed a delayed double steal with Linson taking off for second. Once Greenwood made the throw to second, Lawing ran for home and beat the throw.

Rogers added a run in the fifth to go up 2-0. Watson singled and stole second base. He scored on a two-out bloop single to right by Linson.

Watson, Lawing and Linson each had two hits for the Mounties. Ty Holt and Jaxon Cole had base hits for Greenwood. Holt led off the fourth with a base hit, but Grant Karnes grounded into a double play in the next at-bat.

Zack Zitzmann started for Greenwood, but was taken out of the game with shoulder tightness in the second inning. Brady Pettigrew pitched the next 4 1/3 innings, keeping Greenwood in it until the sixth.

Greenwood was coming off a 3-2, 9-8 sweep of Van Buren in a 5A-West Conference doubleheader Thursday.

"We talked about that," Brewer said. "You go out on a high [Thursday] night, how do you respond? It's a new day. I thought the effort and mentality was there. We just could not make the adjustment at the plate and never really put in pressure on them."

Greenwood (10-4) hosts Harrison on Tuesday for a conference doubleheader, while Rogers hosts Fort Smith Northside on Tuesday and travels to Northside on Wednesday in a 6A-West Conference game. The Mounties haven't played a league game since beating Fayetteville 9-6 on March 12.

"It's been 20 days since we've played a conference game," Melson said. "Good to get some momentum going into that."

Upcoming Events