Well-focused Bearcats roll in opening series

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

BALDWYN – Gregg Tucker wasn’t sure what to say following Baldwyn’s 17-0 victory Saturday against West Bolivar in the opening round of the Class 2A state playoffs.
The coach was somewhat embarrassed by his Bearcats’ lopsided win in the first game of the best-of-three series.
“You make sure you go out, don’t play sloppy and take care of the fundamentals,” he said. “You make the plays and swing the bat. I don’t know what else to say.”
Baldwyn won the second game 11-1 and swept the series. The Bearcats (14-10) advance to play top-seeded Eupora (15-2) in the second-round best-of-three series which starts Friday.
The Bearcats didn’t disappoint Tucker with their effort at the plate in the opener, reaching West Bolivar pitching for 13 hits.
Bishop Davis led the way with three singles and two RBI. Walker Wildmon and pitcher Tyler Nelson had two hits apiece. Nelson had a team-high three RBI with a triple and a single.
Tucker also wanted to see his pitcher throw strikes. Nelson (5-4), a senior right-hander, two-hit the Eagles and recorded 10 strikeouts.
“I just tried to throw strikes and if they hit it, they hit it,” Nelson said. “I threw a lot of fastballs today.”
Baldwyn took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Wildmon singled and scored after an error and a passed ball.
The Bearcats scored four in the second on Nelson’s triple and singles by Reggie Richey and Davis.
West Bolivar (7-5) saw any hopes of a comeback dashed when Baldwyn scored eight runs in the third inning to 13-0 lead. Wildmon, Davis, Nelson and Corbin Scott had hits while Richey plated a run with a sacrifice fly.
In the second game, Davis was the winning pitcher and Richey had a double for Baldwyn.
Nelson said he believes the Bearcats, who’ve struggled at times, can put things together in the postseason. Saturday’s sweep was a good start.
“We’ve had our moments,” he said. “At times we’ve been consistent hitting. We’ve played well on defense, then we’ve made some big errors.”