Basically, the Maumelle Hornets are in a slump.
A five-game losing streak is perplexing Coach Barrett Davis. The Hornets (6-9, 0-3 4A-4) lost last week to conference foe Dover, 7-6 and North Little Rock, 6-0. In a game rescheduled from last Friday to Monday, they suffered an 11-1 setback to conference opponent Booneville.
In the Dover contest, they were ahead 6-3 going into the bottom of the seventh and let the Pirates escape with the victory. That was the second conference game lost by one run.
"They only had one hit that inning and scored four runs because of errors," Barrett said. "If we would have played the way we did against North Little Rock, we would have won against Booneville."
Jacob Hollingsworth pitched in the Booneville contest and just didn’t have it that night. He walked a couple of batters and admitted to Davis that he was having trouble throwing strikes. Trey Koen finished the contest. Davis is starting to see the disappointment.
"We are having mental breakdowns," he said. "More than ever tonight (Monday) I saw the frustration."
Davis told the players they need to quit beating themselves up, and he doesn’t really know what the problem is. Being around baseball all his life, he understands the ups and downs. He is having a hard time with seeing the competitiveness and toughness from the players but they just can’t catch the breaks.
Another thing that is difficult is the young players experienced success last season so this slump is hard on them. Davis said they are finding out they just can’t throw their hat out there and beat the other team.
Because baseball does not have an athletic period, the Hornets don’t start practice until 4:40 p.m. which limits practice time. Davis is also seeing that the other teams are physically stronger than the Hornets.
"We don’t have power so we rely on good pitching, hitting and getting on base," Davis said. "We are taking the steps to get better. The system we have in place is helping the younger guys, but I can tell there is a gap with the older guys."
Which brings Davis to another dilemma—the junior varsity has beaten the conference JV teams. Booneville only brought 15 guys and all but two also played junior varsity.
"The JV hasn’t lost a game in a few weeks," Davis said. "The upperclassmen aren’t as disciplined and focused. It’s hard when the younger guys need experience."
Maumelle hosted England last night and travel to Benton on Thursday. They are supposed to host Waldron on Friday, but the Maumelle Parks and Recreation is hosting a baseball tournament that night. At press time, Davis was trying to get the game moved to UALR’s field.