PEARCY, Ark. – Hot Springs batters continue to struggle against some of the best pitching in Conference 5A South. Lake Hamilton’s Austin Hale tossed a two-hitter and struck out 12 in Friday’s six-inning win over the Trojans, 10-0.
The final score was a little deceiving in regard to the pitching performance of Hot Springs’ Elias Parker. The Wolves roughed up Parker in the first inning, but he shut out Lake Hamilton the next three innings on three hits, with four strikeouts.
“This was a big win, puts us at 3-1 in conference,” said Lake Hamilton’s first-year coach Matt Weigand. “We’re right behind Lakeside (4-0), which beat Sheridan last night. This is a tough conference, it’s going to be a battle.
Hale’s pitching doesn’t surprise coach
“We know everytime Hale takes the mound we’ve got a chance to win. Our pitching staff is pretty solid. We’ve got a lot of depth there, and Coach Williams (pitching coach) has done a phenomenal job with those guys.”
Weigand was also impressed with the Trojans’ Parker brothers. Xavier Parker started the game behind the plate, and relieved his older sibling on the mound. Xavier had Hot Springs’ only two hits off Hale.
“Their starter (Elias) had two pitches he was throwing for strikes, and he competed,” said Weigand. “I thought he did a really good job. He just didn’t have things go his way in the first inning. Hot Springs’ starting catcher (Xavier) can hit.”
The Wolves (12-3, 3-1) had 11 hits in the game, but their coach remains unsatisfied. Matthew Carmack led Lake Hamilton with a double and two singles. Eight other players had one hits, including doubles by Weston Dobyns and JT Bardwell.
Wolves working on mental approach at the plate
“We’re still not where we need to be at the plate,” said the Wolves’ coach. “It’s just a mental thing with us. We have good hitters, just got to get our mental approach right. We’re just not consistent right now. With this being my first year at Lake Hamilton, it’s a process, and it’s going to take time.”
Hot Springs had five errors in the game, but got a good performance from third baseman Matt Contreras. The Wolves played errorless ball behind Hale, who struck out two batters in every inning. The Trojans reached second base once in the game. Pierce Smalley walked with two outs, and stole second. Hale struck out the next batter.
Lake Hamilton remains at home next Tuesday, hosting El Dorado. The Wolves will be on the road the next three games.