Bearcats dismantle D’Arbonne Woods

by T. Scott Boatright

After a tough start to the District 2-5A baseball season, the Ruston High School Bearcats needed to do some venting.

The Bearcats did just that Monday night — hammering out a 14-1 five-inning win over D’Arbonne Woods at RHS field at the Ruston Sports Complex.

Ruston was coming off a pair of frustrating losses to West Monroe to open the 2-5A season at 0-2 — 6-5 Thursday in West Monroe and 8-6 on Saturday in Ruston 

On Monday night Ruston played host to D’Arbonne Woods, and the Bearcats didn’t waste much time in taking over.

The Timberwolves scored their lone run off of freshman pitcher David Griepe, who had to leave that game following the first inning due to illness.

“He was confident and looking strong,” RHS coach Zack Smith said. “He wasn’t nervous, but came down with a stomach bug, so we got him out of there.”

That was a good thing as Ruston pitched Jayson Welch, Justin Symanski and Dawson Willis in relief.

“I wanted to try and get these younger guys some experience and stuff like that,” Smith said. “And also let some of our older guys get some (at bats) under their belts and make them feel better at the plate.”

Ruston’s Dyson Fields’ three-run home run helped put Ruston up 9-1 by the end of the first inning.

And the Bearcats were just getting started.

“Dyson had been struggling a little bit with the bat,” Smith said. “He needed this game, to be honest. Hopefully that builds his confidence for this coming-up weekend.”

Fields was back at it in the second inning, drawing a walk and then stealing second and third base before scoring on a passed ball.

Leading 10-1 Ruston tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the third inning. JR Tollett singled with one out before Dawson Symanski followed with a single that scored Tollett. 

Then again it was Fields who ignited the Bearcats, as he tripled home Symanski and then scored on a passed ball.

Willis came in to pitch the final two innings for the Bearcats, facing only six batters and striking out three.

Ruston added a run in the bottom of the fourth as Peyton Beck walked before scoring five batters later on a Jake Symanski single.

Dawson returned in the top of the fifth to force a flyout to right field before fanning a pair of Timberwolves to seal the win for the Bearcats.

“We needed a game like this,” Smith said. “It’s obvious we had a huge weekend with West Monroe, and the results were not what we wanted. We needed a game like this to build a little more confidence about ourselves, so it was good.”

The Bearcats (11-9) next return to district action as the Bearcats play host to West Ouachita (7-11)  on Thursday before facing the Chiefs on their home field on Saturday.


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