Maumelle’s first conference game left a bad taste in Coach Barrett Davis’ mouth.
Leading by as much as 5-0, the Hornets led that margin slide and ended up with an 8-7 loss to Pottsville last Friday. Earlier in the week, Maumelle (6-6, 0-1 4A-4) beat Little Rock Hall, 13-0, and lost to Mayflower, 6-4.
In addition to losing to Pottsville, Davis was ejected from the game as was Pottsville Coach Wes McCrotty and Pottsville pitcher Cory Campbell. Davis has to sit out Maumelle’s next game which will be Friday in the first round of the Mayflower tournament.
"It got out of hand," Davis said. "I’m willing to take the suspension. Knowing it was a young umpire I should have talked to him after the game."
Davis’ ejection happened after the last pitch. With the Hornets trailing 8-5 going into the final inning, they scored two runs, and the last batter had a 3-2 count when the umpire called a strike with the catcher standing up. Davis asked the umpire about it, and the situation didn’t go well. However, Davis admits Maumelle should have never been in that position.
"We dropped three fly balls in one inning and two fouls," he said. "I told the guys we can’t leave the game up to the umpires. It’s almost like they were waiting for something to screw up. We played a great game—the pitchers pitched great and we were swinging the bats—innings one through four. The last three, it was like we were two different teams."
In the Mayflower loss, Davis had good things to say about freshman pitcher Mitchell Sparks. He also noted that catcher Walker Culp and Brandon Carter, who is the backup catcher, designated hitter and also has played right and left fields, are performing well.
"Mayflower kept us balance, and we made some errors," Davis said. "Mayflower is a great team, and it was a great game."
After taking a few days off, the Hornets regroup today or tomorrow before competing in the Mayflower tournament Friday and Saturday. They are guaranteed three games, and Davis says they will face some good teams and good coaches.
As for the loss to Pottsville, Davis is not concerned.
"Right now, I’m taking it pitch-to-pitch and bat-to-bat," he said. "It’s a long season, and we have the toughest schedule they have ever played. I built the schedule that way. We are coming together as a team. If we keep playing with intensity and doing things right, the results will come. When the conference tournament comes, they will be as prepared as they can be."