Granted Maumelle Coach Barrett Davis is always up for playing a baseball game. However, he couldn’t resist a call he got from Vilonia Coach Brad Wallace last week.
Because of the tornado, the Eagles didn’t get to have senior night last week. Wallace reached out to Davis and asked if the Hornets would play this past Monday so the Eagles could get in senior night. Davis was all for it provided the Hornets took care of business and qualified for regionals. They did that with an 18-4 victory over Subiaco last Saturday. Maumelle also played a second game that day and lost to Booneville, 5-3, but one victory was all that was needed to qualify for regionals.
"He needed a game for senior night and knew it would be so good for the guys to get back to baseball," Davis said. "Our kids wanted to go. I told Coach Wallace we would be tired. I don’t know how much it was, but our parents presented a check and took the money out of our fundraising account."
Davis said after the game the two teams shook hands, and each coach talked to its respective team. Everything was normal until the coaches took their teams to centerfield.
"The kids spent about 10 minutes shaking hands and talking," he said. "It was a great experience. We saw the destruction in Mayflower and Vilonia, and it was an eye-opening experience for them. Normally, they talk, but the bus was quiet. I think they realized how close it was to them."
Maumelle lost the contest, 4-2 on four unearned runs. The Hornets made an error, hit a batter, made another error and another error. Two runs scored on passed balls.
"We may have been tired but that is no excuse," Davis said. ‘We have to do better at doing the small things if we want to keep playing. We have to overcome the little stuff."
Davis said the Hornets played well against Subi and came out swinging. He was said they knew the mission and took care of business. Against Booneville, they didn’t get a hit until the seventh when they scored three runs with one out.
"We didn’t execute the like we did in the first game," Davis said. "Our goal was to make regionals. Our program has come a long way making regionals two years in a row."
Maumelle plays Prairie Grove at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the regional tournament at Lincoln. One victory is needed to qualify for the state tournament. The immediate focus is to win that first contest.
"Pitching-wise, we are up there with the best in state," Davis said. "We have to find a way to get on base and get our bats hot at the right time."