Diamond ‘Dogs end regular season on long winning streak
By Richard White
The Greenwood Bulldogs’ baseball team closed out a highly successful regular season this past Monday and Tuesday with a pair of 6A league victories over Russellville and Siloam Springs. The GHS boys have compiled an overall record of 22-6 and enter the post-season with a 14-game winning streak.
The Diamond ‘Dogs competed in the combined 6A/5A-1 conference during the regular season, but now turn their attention to the 6A West conference tournament starting on Saturday.
Six of the eight teams will move on to the 6A state tournament starting May 11th at Benton, along with six teams from the 6A East. The Bulldogs are hoping for a top seed and a first-round bye at state.
Head Coach Trey Holloway and his players will have three days to rest and prepare themselves for the opening round of the conference tournament, likely hosting a game on Saturday.
Fans can check the Greenwood Dog Pound website or Facebook page for more information about the opponent and the start time when it becomes available.
This past Tuesday the Bulldogs used a pair of pitchers in a 10-0 rout of Siloam Springs. Senior starter Cooper Van Kooten went 5.2 innings before being relieved by Blake Pschier, who got the last out in the sixth and final inning. Van Kooten gave up four hits, two walks, and had three strikeouts.
Greenwood scored solo runs in the first and third innings, three more runs in the fourth, then put the game away with a five-spot in the sixth, invoking the 10-run-rule.
Peyton Holt, Colton Sagely, and Van Kooten all had three hits each as the Bulldogs banged out a total of 15. Sagely had two RBIs while seven other players had one each. Included among those was catcher Jake Smith, who also had a pair of hits, one of them a double.
Junior hurler Connor Noland threw a complete game shutout this past Monday, beating the Cyclones 3-0 in conference play. Noland gave just three hits, no walks, and fanned 10 Russellville hitters in crafting his gem of a game. The defense was also perfect behind him.
The Bulldogs plated single runs in the fourth, sixth, and seventh innings. The GHS battery of Noland and catcher Jake Smith each had two hits. Noland and Cooper Van Kooten had an RBI each. The ‘Dogs had nine total hits.
Last Friday’s scheduled game against Van Buren was rained out, but on Tuesday the 18th the Harrison Goblins journeyed to Greenwood and suffered a doubleheader loss to the Bulldogs, falling 10-0 in the opener and 5-2 in the nightcap.
Cooper Van Kooten started on the mound in game one, allowing just three hits in a five-inning complete game effort. He got all the support he needed when his teammates plated four runs in the first inning and three more in the second. A solo run in the third and two more in the fourth triggered the run-rule and shortened the game to 4½ frames.
Offensively, Peyton Holt led the team with three hits, including a triple and two runs batted in. Cody Smith and Cooper Van Kooten had two hits each, while Smith had three RBIs.
In game two junior hurler Ryan Daggs took the hill and threw five solid innings, allowing two runs on three hits, while striking out two. Isaac Schwartz closed out the win with two scoreless frames.
Greenwood led 4-0 after getting a run in the second inning, two more in the third, and one more in the fourth. Harrison loaded the bases and scored twice in the top of the fifth to stay in the game. But one more GHS run in the fifth accounted for the final score.
Freshman Colton Sagely was the hitting star, collecting three of Greenwood’s six total hits, also driving home a run. Van Kooten, Holt, and Dylan Montgomery also had solo RBIs.
On the previous Saturday the Bulldogs hosted Class 4A Ozark in non-conference play and posted a 7-4 victory behind the strong relief pitching of Blake Pschier, who took over for starter Braiden Partin in the third inning. Pschier went four frames for the win. Ryan Daggs pitched a scoreless seventh.
Trailing 2-1 after two innings, the Hillbilllies plated three runs in the top of the third, two of those runs off Partin. But that was it for the visitors as Pschier and Daggs silenced their bats the rest of the way. Greenwood added two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth for the win.
The Bulldogs banged out 13 hits, including three for Connor Noland and two each for Colton Sagely, Dylan Montgomery, and Cody Smith. Each of those three players also had a double.
On Friday the 14th the Bulldogs traveled to Farmington for a 7-3 win behind a solid effort by starter Connor Noland. He went all seven innings, yielding three earned runs on six hits and no walks, fanning eight Cardinals’ batters. The GHS win avenged an earlier 11-5 loss to Farmington.
At the plate, Greenwood was led by Van Kooten with three hits while Ronnie Berg and Jake Smith had two hits each. One of Smith’s hits was a triple. Berg and Dylan Montgomery had two RBIs each.
Trailing 1-0 after two innings, the Bulldogs scored once each in the third and fourth frames, then salted away the victory with a five-run fifth. Farmington got two meaningless runs in the seventh.
The Bulldogs hosted the Saints in non-conference play on April 13th and out-hit them 9-4 while posting a 7-1 victory over the private school. Tied at 1-1 after three innings, Greenwood scored twice in the fourth and five times in the fifth for the comfortable win.
Cooper Van Kooten went all seven frames for the Bulldogs, giving up just the four hits, two walks, and one earned run. He also struck out seven Shiloh hitters. The ‘Dogs made just one error in the field.
Peyton Holt, Colton Sagely, and Connor Noland all had two hits each for Greenwood. Holt had three RBIs with Sagely, Van Kooten, and Ronnie Berg picking up one RBI each.