Facing the number-ranked team in Class 4A may have been a little nerve wracking for the Maumelle Hornets. In Maumelle’s first regional baseball appearance Monday, the Hornets fell to Prairie Grove, 6-2.
What was out of character lately was the Hornets (18-11) committed eight errors. In senior Jacob Hollingsworth’s last time on the mound, he yielded seven hits and struck out nine batters. All of the runs were unearned.
"I think nerves had a lot to do with," Maumelle Coach Barrett Davis said. "The guys played loose and well, but we it was our first time playing in a situation like this. The guys may have heard and read on the internet how good Prairie Grove was."
Initially, Prairie Grove was ahead 1-0 after two innings. The Hornets two runs happened in the third, and they could have scored more but base running mistakes stalled them. Arkansas signee Aaron Kincaid was on the mound for the Tigers.
"We had the opportunities to score but just didn’t get the timely hits," Davis said. "There is no doubt in my mind we can play with Prairie Grove. If we make the plays, we have a shot to win."
Despite the loss that ended the season, Davis was optimistic. Losing only two seniors in Hollingsworth and Donte Moore, the Hornets have laid a foundation for the several years. After the game, Davis told the seniors he appreciated what they had done and was excited for the program looking forward.
"I’ve had kids call or text me and asking me what they need to work on," Davis said. "They are seeing where we need to improve and also seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that we can play with anybody."
The Hornets are playing extended summer ball and will host a tournament June 7-9. Davis is excited about the opportunity because a lot of the teams Maumelle faced had guys who have played since they were in grade school. Maumelle hasn’t had that luxury but he feels another month playing together in the summer while help build team cohesiveness.
As for Hollingsworth, he has choices to make where he wants to play college ball. Several schools have expressed interest including UALR and Arkansas Tech.
"No doubt, he will play college ball," Davis said. "Not a lot of people have seen him play, and I helped get him out there with coaches I know. Maybe, he can start something, and when coaches hear Maumelle they will want to see what we’ve got."