Cougar baseball battled Oneida on a rainy, cold and windy evening yesterday at Brown-Archer Field. Unlike the Tuesday pitching duel vs AC that saw Brady Rutherford strike out 9 in 6 and 2/3rds innings of no hit baseball, while the Cougars only managed one hit themselves, this one produced baserunner upon baserunner.
The Indians quickly plated 5 runs in the top of the first, then the Cougars escaped the inning and came up to bat. Leadoff hitter Peyton Ferguson started off quickly with a stand up double into left field. Ferguson would eventually score but the Cougars stranded a runner on base in what became a major theme of the game.
Over the next six innings the Cougar batters kept finding their way to base but once there the Indians pitching did just enough to escape. The Cougars would load the bases several times over the course of the game only to see Oneida with timely strikeouts along with a few questionable calls by the umpires.
On one play, what appeared to be a fouled bunt was called in play by the home plate umpire. This resulted in a double play instead of another swing. Coach Chris Mayes had a heated discussion with the umpire but to no avail. It was one of several run ins with the umpires on the evening for various calls that appeared blown.
In one case another Cougar inning was halted with men on when there appeared to be clear catcher interference that was heard and spotted by everyone except the home plate umpire, as the catchers glove hit the bat of a Cougar hitter.
After seven innings the Cougars had placed 18 men on base but had only managed to bring 3 of them home.
That isn’t something you ever want to see but it’s encouraging after the struggle to produce base runners in the prior game vs Anderson County. If the Cougars can bring together great pitching from Tuesday with the multitude of baserunners yesterday it should result in wins in the future.