Dropping a doubleheader to the Forrest City Mustangs was not how Central and coach Matt Cummings hoped to begin 5A-East play.

 

Dropping a doubleheader to the Forrest City Mustangs was not how Central and coach Matt Cummings hoped to begin 5A-East play.
After a crushing 12-2 loss in the opener Tuesday at the Forrest City Sports Complex, the Cougars jumped out in front, 4-0, in the first inning of the nightcap only to fritter away the game, 11-9.
The double loss dropped Central’s season record to 3-3 and 0-2 at the start of the 5A-East schedule.
Central was playing short-handed with only 10 of its team members making the trip while the others opted to take Helena-West Helena Schools’ spring break.
The Cougars will host the Wynne Yellowjackets 4 p.m. Tuesday at Gene Bearden Stadium.
Offense was not a problem for the Cougars. And, Kyrin Burrell and John Garner had fairly good outings on the mound.
The breakdown was fielding as the Cougars overthrew first base on a couple of routine plays and made other fielding miscues that opened the door to the Mustangs’ comeback in the nightcap.
Forrest City erupted for six runs in the fourth inning of the second game that erased Central’s 4-0 lead.
Brothers Lonnie and Trey Carthan supplied much of the offense that enabled Central to regain the lead, 7-6, in the top half of the sixth inning.
Forrest City bounced back scoring five runs to take a commanding 11-7 lead going into the top half of the seventh.
Cummings gathered his players and told them, “Four runs is nothing. We put up four runs in the first inning. We can do this. It depends on how bad you want it.”
Lonnie Carthan doubled, stole second and later scored. The next batter alertly took first after the catcher failed to control the ball following a strikeout. Burrell slapped a two-run single to narrow the Forrest City lead to 11-9.
Forrest City coach Billy Carter brought on ace pitcher Barrett Astin to snuff out the Central rally.
Cummings summed up Central’s many fielding shortcomings when he told assistant coach Ernest Simpson III “We had that (one Forrest City) player out three different times.”