For the first time this season, the Munroe Bobcats suffered a two-game losing streak, dropping one-run games to Wewahitchka on Tuesday, April 15, and Maclay on Wednesday, April 16. The streak lasted until the next night when Munroe defeated Westwood in their final regular season game.
“We lost a couple of hard-fought games,” said Bobcat Coach Jayme Williams. “We had our chances in each one. We’re not happy we lost, but we competed. Hats off to Wewahitchka and Maclay for their play.”
The Bobcats began the week at home against the visiting Gators and the game quickly turned into a pitchers’ duel. Nolan Haire went the distance for Munroe, striking out four and yielding seven hits and three runs. The Bobcats outhit Wewa, collecting nine on the night, but three errors proved to be the difference in the game that ended 3-2 in Wewa’s favor.
“We made a couple of mistakes, and they took advantage,” said Williams. “That’s what good teams do. Nolan pitched a good game. He settled down after struggling early.”
Offensively, the Munroe was led by Haire with three hits and Stephen Miller and Will Harris with two each.
The next night, the Bobcats traveled to Tallahassee to face Maclay and found themselves leading 3-1 midway through the fourth, due in large part to a Myles Edwards home run. Munroe would extend the lead to 4-2 after batting in the fifth.
“We felt like we were in pretty good shape at this point,” said Williams. “Casey (Mathers) was pitching pretty well, and we were playing well in the field. Then we allowed them to load the bases in their half of the sixth, and they were able to score three that we couldn’t cover.”
The Bobcats were able to get the tying run aboard with two outs in the seventh, but a grounder to second quickly dashed any thoughts of a comeback and the Marauders prevailed 5-4. Mathers lasted all six innings, but allowed five runs on seven hits. Once again, the Bobcats outhit their opponents in a loss as they tallied nine for the night. Leading the way was Edwards with three hits (home run, two RBIs), Kyle Skipper (two RBIs) and Stephen Miller with two apiece, and Bradley Klees and Will Harris with one each.
On April 17, Munroe returned home to face the Wildcats of Westwood (Camilla, Ga.) and the Bobcats took out the frustrations of the two previous games, winning 10-0 in six innings.
“We played like we had something to prove,” said Williams. “We needed to regain a little momentum for the district tournament and hopefully we did just that.”
Munroe not only outhit their visitors 12 to 3, but they played arguably their best defensive game, turning double plays to end the first and second innings, which were both one out, bases loaded situations.
“Those were big defensive moments,” said Williams. “We don’t make those plays, and all of a sudden we’re in a hole.”
Munroe got five solid innings on the mound from senior Myles Edwards, who shut out the Wildcats on three hits while striking out two. Edwards also had a big night offensively, blasting his second home run in as many nights, and finishing four for four (three RBIs). Casey Mathers, Nolan Haire and Bradley Klees all had two hits while Stephen Miller and Joey Sloan chipped in one each.
Up next for Munroe is the district tournament in Aucilla. The Bobcats will face the winner of Aucilla and Tallavana in the championship game, with the two top teams advancing to regional play. The Bobcats defeated both teams in their regular season contests.
“We know we’ve got our work cut out for us, but we look forward to the post-season,” said Williams. “We just want to take it a game at a time and see what we can accomplish.”