The Cougar varsity baseball team split Western Highlands Conference games last week , taking an impressive win over Owen while dropping a close one to conference leader Polk County.
In the 1st inning of their contest with Polk at home on Tuesday afternoon, the Cougars went three up and three down in their first at bat as Wolverine pitcher Alec Philpot stated out strong on the mound.
Heritage starter Drew Hoilman is on the mound and he returns the favor and retires the side, one, two, three as well.
To start the 2nd Inning Cougar Dakota Wilson smashes a double. The next Heritage batter, Lucas King, walks, but neither of the Cougar base runner was able to score.
Polk as well got runners on base and left them stranded in the second inning.
The Cougars, who left five runners stranded in the 2-0 loss, again puts two players on bases again in the third inning to no avail. Rome Robinson hits a double and Brandon Brown reaches on a fielder's choice, but once again neither is able to make it home for a score.
Polk would go up 1-0 in the third following a lead-off single who was pushed to 2nd base on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a single by Alec Philpott.
All three Heritage batters were mown down by Philpot in the 4th inning and after Heritage changed pitchers, bringing in Brandon Brown for Drew Hoilman, the Cougars survives two errors and get out of the inning without allowing a run.
In the 5th inning Rome Robinson hit a single, but Heritage again is unable to move him around to home plate, as Polk picks up another run from two triples to centerfield.
Heritage again comes up empty in the 6th inning but in the 7th it looked like the Cougars were going to rally when Daulton Rathburn gets on base with a single. But Heritage is unable to produce any more hits in the 2-0 WHC loss.
Heritage had five hits but also made three errors in the disappointing setback.
Winning pitcher Alec Philpott pitched a complete game and allowed 5 hits while striking out nine Cougar batters. Losing Pitcher, Drew Hoilman, worked three innings allowed three hits and one run while striking out three Wolverine batters. Brandon Brown pitched 3 innings in relief. He allowed one earned runs and two hits while recording five strikeouts.
Rome Robinson went 2 for 2 with a double and a single to lead the Cougar hitting while Dakota Wilson went 1 for 3 with a double, Tate Robinson - 1 for 3 with a single and Daulton Rathburn went 1 for 1 with a single.
In the JV Game Heritage topped Polk County 14-6.
Owen came to Burnsville on Friday and the Cougars jumped on the Warhorses early and did not let up.
Kaleb McCurry is on the mound for Heritage. He strikes out two of the first three batters he faces and the Cougars get their first opportunity at home plate.
Tate Gardner started for Owen on the mound. Heritage leaves the bases loaded as the first inning ended scoreless.
In the second, an Owen single with two outs leaves one on base and the Cougars take advantage. Rome Robinson leads off the inning for the Cougars with a walk as does Caleb Garland. With two men on Shelby Silver has a bunt single, and Robinson scores on a bases loaded walk by Brandon Brown. Daulton Rathburn then drives in Garland and Silver with a single to right field and the Cougars lead 3-0.
The Cougar defense came up big in the 3rd Inning after Owen puts two on base. Two straight pop-ups for outs are followed by a forced out at 2nd base to keep Owen scoreless.
Heritage picked up one more run to up the lead to 4-0 when Brandon Brown singles to bring around Caleb Garland who had reached on an infield single.
In the 4th Inning Owen cut the lead in half by scoring a pair of runs. Ben McMahan scores on an error and Dallas Henderson (who walked) scored on a single by Shawn Chapman.
Heritage gets those two runs back, plus one, in the bottom of the 4th when Lucas King singles to right to lead off the inning and goes to 2nd on an infield single by Dakota Wilson. Kaleb McCurry hits a shot to the Owen pitcher and in his haste to throw McCurry out, he throws wide to the first baseman which allows King and Wilson to come around to score. Dylan Burford ,in as a pinch runner for pitcher Kaleb McCurry, came around to score on an error by the Owen third baseman to increase the Cougar lead to 7-2.
Owen tried to rally in the 5th Inning. After two Warhorse singles to start the inning by Jake Buske and Cade Fox, McCurry gets Ben McMahan to fly out to center field then strikes out Grant Polk and Dallas Henderson to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 5th, Shelby Silver reaches on an error by the Owen 2nd baseman. He advances to 3rd on a Daulton Rathburn single and scores on a Lucas King sacrifice fly for an 8-2 Heritage lead.
The Heritage defense retired the side in the top of the sixth with three caught fly balls and the Cougars leave Kaleb McCurry and Caleb Garland stranded on base heading in the final inning.
In the 7th the Warhorses load the bases but a fly out to the center fielder Lucas King ended the game 8-2 in favor of the Cougars.
Heritage pounded out 9 hits in the victory. The Cougar hitting looked like this: Daulton Rathburn 2 for 4 with 2 RBI's--Brandon Brown 2 for 3 with 1 RBI--Shelby Silver 1 for 2 with 2 runs scored--Caleb Garland 1 for 2 with 2 runs scored--Lucas King 1 for 4 with 1 run scored and 1 RBI--Dakota Wilson 1 for 3 with 1 run scored and Kaleb McCurry 1 for 2 with 1 run scored.
Kaleb McCurry was the winning pitcher He pitched a complete game, allowed two runs, only one of them earned, while giving up 8 hits and striking outs 7, batters and walking 4.
Tate Gardner was the losing pitcher for Owen, working 3 innings while allowing 4 earned runs and 5 hits. He recorded 4 strikeouts and walked six Cougar batters in the loss.
By David Grindstaff