After a 1-5 road trip performance at San Antonio and Corpus Christi from May 22-27, the Arkansas Travelers returned home last week and hosted San Antonio and Corpus Christi. They fared a little better winning two of five games.
The third contest of the series with the San Antonio Missions was rained out last Thursday. In the two games, Arkansas salvaged a split winning last Tuesday, 8-4 and losing last Wednesday, 5-3. In the victory, the Travs rallied and erased a four-run deficit. In the loss, the Missions tallied two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth to erase an Arkansas 1-0 lead. The Travelers added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth.
"I think we played a little better at home than we did on the road," Travs Manager Tim Bogar said. "Both of those teams are very, very good ballclubs. We had a couple of games on the road we could have won and a couple at home we could have won."
After capturing the first game of the three-game series with Corpus Christi Missions last Friday, rain cancelled Saturday’s game and set up a doubleheader on Sunday. Arkansas won the back-and-forth contest, 5-3 but suffered 5-3 and 13-9 setbacks Sunday. The first contest actually went into extra innings with the Missions winning in the eighth (doubleheader contests are seven innings). In the second contest of the doubleheader, the Travelers spotted Corpus Christi 10 runs before chipping away at the lead.
"That’s been the story of our season, we give up runs early," Bogar said. "For the most part, rainouts are not a big deal. Sometimes it hurts a team and sometimes it helps a team. I don’t like rainouts when we are on a roll. We haven’t played well in doubleheaders. I guess we need all nine innings."
Sunday’s doubleheader was the fifth time that has happened this season. For sure, the Travelers will have another one as on June 13th they host a doubleheader with Tulsa to make up a game rescheduled from May 2. After Sunday, Arkansas is 2-8 in doubleheaders.
Today, the Travelers begin an eight-day road trip and play at Springfield through Friday. Then, they have four games (Saturday-Tuesday) at Northwest Arkansas. With three weeks left in the first half of the season, the contests at Springfield are important as the Travs (27-27) are a game behind the Cardinals (28-26).
"We want to split with them, and a split on the road is good," Bogar said. "The guys know how important the games are, and I think will go in and play well. We can either have some good games or fall apart."
With the first half of the season winding down, Bogar is looking at things and managing differently. Before, daily player development was a top priority, but for the rest of the first half of the season, he is just looking at the remaining games.
"Certain things will happen that didn’t happen early in the season," Bogar said. "Right now, we’ll develop the players to make a playoff run and to play at a high level and go back to daily development at the start of the second half."
Youth camp coming up
The annual three-day baseball clinic for ages seven through 12 is June 17-19. Fundamentals will be taught by Bogar and the Travs’ players from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. For moreinformation, call 664-1555.