By VAN HOLLAND
PINETOPS – After getting back to form and having his team where he wanted them, SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars coach Tommy Tolson has seen a drastic change in his team. The Cougars had won three straight and now they have done a downward spiral and started another losing streak. The Bunn Wildcats defeated the Cougars 12-2 in five innings Wednesday night in non-conference action. The Cougars fall to 3-7.
"This is frustrating for me and I can't figure it out," Tolson said. "It is just frustrating the way we do some things. We come off of a good game and then have a performance like this. We couldn't catch the ball and we sure didn't hit it."
SouthWest missed two routine fly balls in the outfield, two in the infield and bobbled two balls in the outfield off of base hits which allowed extra bases for Bunn. They made four errors, which resulted in four runs and their pitchers allowed seven walks which four eventually scored.
Cole Pierce took the loss. He only lasted 1 2/3 innings giving up eight runs on four hits, while walking five. He struck out two batters. Josh Williams relieved Pierce in the second inning and didn't fare to well either. He gave up four runs on five hits, while walking two in 3 1/3 innings of relief.
Bunn scored five runs in the first inning after they sent 10 batters to the plate. In the second, Bunn scored three more after sending eight batters to the plate. They responded with another run in the third and then scored three in the fifth.
After the three runs in the fifth, SouthWest had to score at least three to keep the game going. They had a runner on first, when Nick Webb hit a ground ball up the middle and Bunn made an error. The runner on first tried to advance to third and was gunned down. The Cougars were able to scratch two runs across that inning but it wasn't enough.
The Cougars offense went hand in hand with their defense. They collected just four hits and left six runners on base. They made a bad base running mistake at third and that cut an inning short.
Justin Rodriguez got two hits, while Jarratt Mobley and Justin Letchworth had one apiece.
The Cougars scored their only two runs of the game in the bottom of the fifth when Rodriguez hit shot to left center field and drove home the two runs.
SouthWest had come out of their offensive funk two weeks ago and were pounding the ball, but Tolson said he didn't know what had changed, because they couldn't get the bat on the ball against Bunn.
SouthWest turns around tonight and travels to play county and conference rival the Tarboro Vikings at Municipal Stadium at 7 p.m.
Tolson said he didn't know how his team would react after losing two straight in as many days then having to play a third consecutive game.
"We will have to see how we regroup and see if we have our minds right," Tolson said. "We have to come out physically and mentally ready to play."
Tolson is giving the ball to his senior right hander Stephen Thompson against Tarboro.