Warriors bow to Cougars

By Marvin Birchfield

   After rebounding from a slow start during the season, the Warriors took a step back on Monday with a defeat to Sullivan Central in a 7-2 final.
   "We're still a little rusty, but the kids came out and did what they had to win, and going on the road to get a conference win is always big," said Sullivan Central coach Brandon Crantz.
   Happy Valley saw an early 2-0 lead diminish, after a lack of execution in field play hindered their chances to become .500 on the year.
   A walk to Jordy Harrison followed by a hit by Ricky Morgan set up the Warriors only scores of the contest.
   Lamar Rollins came to the plate and smacked a double to centerfield, which drove home Harrison and Morgan, giving Happy Valley a 2-0 lead through the first three frames.
   "The shoulder seems to be doing all right, and I'm just taking it one-step at a time, but it was just the right pitch at the right time," said Rollins.
   The Cougars responded in the top of the fourth to grab an one run lead by scoring three-runs on three-hits.
   A shot to centerfield from Adam Hardin drove in Josh O'Dell to get the Cougars on the board.
   Another hit from Brian Jackson produced the second run for Sullivan Central with Daniel Scalf crossing the plate.
   A sacrifice fly from Chris Miller handed the Cougars the lead, as it brought home Hardin.
   "Any conference loss is a tough loss, but when you battle you're way back like we have, and then lay down like we did, it's ridiculous," said Happy Valley coach Greg Hyder.
   Happy Valley didn't have any success after that point from the plate as a good pitching effort from Eric Allen contributed to the lack of offensive from the Warriors, as he hung tough throughout the contest.
   "We had to come out and get the first win of the week, so it's big for us, and I became a little fatigued, but I just had to bear down and concentrate," said Allen.
   The sixth inning was disastrous for the Warriors, when errors in the field resulted in the Cougars capturing four runs.
   "We just have to start eliminating our mistakes, for we're not doing too good in the field, for we are booting it around, and when you play a good team it will cost you," said Rollins.
   The first run came after an error at shortstop enabled Hardin to come home, and then a nice shot from Seth Hyder that hopped over the third base bag drove home both Jackson and Chris Miller.
   Another fielding error at shortstop gave the Cougars a comfortable lead heading into the last frame with Joey Watson coming in for the score.
   Happy Valley was unable to make a run toward Sullivan Central the final inning, as Britton Brumit receives the loss for the Warriors at the mound.
   Happy Valley will face Johnson County next in Tuesday's action at Cannon-Gouge park.
   "We're taking our best pitcher, and he's getting beat because he's throwing ground balls and we're not fielding them, but maybe it'll be different tomorrow and we'll see what kind of team we are," said Hyder.