Bearcats win four last week; ride five game win streak

(Bearcat Justin Szymanski is batting .500 through 10 games.
Photo Credit: Reggie McLeroy)

By Kyle Roberts

Ruston High’s baseball squad (6-4) won five games in five days last week starting with home win over Benton on Tuesday before sweeping through the Trey Altick Memorial Tournament on Friday and Saturday.

“We needed things to go the way that they did last week,” Ruston head coach Zack Smith said after his team started the season 2-4. “Overall, I was very pleased with our starting pitching throughout the week. I think our bats started to come alive, and our defense got better. We had been struggling defensively, and we had two games where we had zero errors. We’re happy about it, but we’ve got to move on because we have another big week this week.”

Ruston started with a 9-8 win over Benton High Tuesday night after taking and early 8-0 lead through two innings. Benton would add five in the top of the third, but Ruston would scored an insurance run in the bottom of the third inning to lead 9-5 heading into the fourth.

Senior DH Justin Szymanski finished with a double that led to two RBI. Sophomore Talan Billberry pitched two innings to get the win over Benton.

Ruston would play three games in the Trey Altick Memorial Tournament by taking a 3-2 win over Walker on Thursday, a 1-0 win over John Curtis on Friday, and an 8-0, errorless win over Denham Springs and the a 7-6 win over Northwood on Saturday.

After trailing 2-1 to Walker, Ruston would use a two-run fifth inning to get the victory on Thursday. On Friday, the lone run came off a single from senior catcher RJ Brown in the bottom of the sixth inning to bring home sophomore outfield Jake Simmons. On Saturday, Ruston cruised to the victory over Denham Springs after scoring seven runs in the bottom of the fourth, and then followed with a nail-biting win over Northwood after scoring the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Senior pitcher Dyson Fields picked up the win after pitching 3.0 innings and striking out five batters.

Through the first ten games, Szymanski is leading the way for Ruston by batting .500 with 11 RBI, getting 14 hits in 28 plate appearances.

“He looks really confident with what he’s doing right now,” Smith said. “He is really comfortable at the plate, and he’s really coming through in RBI situations. He’s a real leader for us, and we expect it to continue because he’s worked hard for it; he deserves it.”

Ruston returns to action at home tonight for Byrd before heading south for the East Ascension Tournament over the weekend.