Jeff Cali Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ada News
The Byng Pirates didn’t muster up many hits against Ada Tuesday night at Cougar Field. But they got two big ones.
Slugger Joe Nemecek blasted a three-run homer in the top of the first and Matt Wescott’s three-run double was the big blow in a seven-run third inning as Byng — ranked No. 4 in Class 4A — pulled away from the Cougars in an 11-2 run-rule victory.
Coach Shawn Streater watched his team improve to 5-1 on the young season while Ada fell to 2-5.
Kiyaanii Bohan lined a one-out single to left to get Byng started in the top of the first before Ada hurler Michah Simmer hit Reid Wall with a pitch. Designated hitter Joe Nemecek then ripped the first offering he saw over the fence in right-center field for a home run to put the Pirates on top 3-0.
Nemecek — Byng’s regular starting catcher — is now serving as the DH for Byng thanks to nursing an arm injury.
“He can still swing it. He struggled the first few games. Hopefully that gets him going,” Streater said.
“Nemecek got on a pitch, and really got them going early,” added Ada coach Elliott Alberson.
The Cougars got a run back when Walker Whitworth started Ada’s half of the first off by reaching on an error and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Boone. Whitworth ran to third on a groundout by Scott Johnson and scored when Simmer reached on Byng’s second error of the frame to get Ada within 3-1.
Mason Girdley led off the bottom of the second when he beat a throw from third to the first base bag for an infield hit. After stealing second, Girdley went to third on a groundout by Tim Simpson and scored on Ried Kinder’s base hit to left field to make the Cougars to within 3-2.
Byng would break the game open in the third with a seven-run explosion and got plenty of help from Ada in the form of four hit batters, a walk and an untimely error. All seven Byng runs came with two outs. Along with Wescott’s big blow, Reid Wall also had an RBI single in the Byng uprising.
Wescott scored the final Byng run of the game in the top of the fifth when he led off with a walk, stole second and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Bohan.
Tyler Pierce scattered just three Ada hits — two by Girdley — and struck out three in five solid innings on the mound for Byng.
“They’re No. 4 for a reason. I thought Pierce threw the ball pretty well, and they really swung the sticks early,” Alberson said. “We didn’t help ourselves out. You can’t make bad plays and walk people. Good teams will really get you if you do.”
Byng managed just five hits off Simmer and Ada reliever Dalton Wolf.
“We got lucky in some spots,” Streater said. “By the end of it, (Ada’s) going to be a club that nobody wants to play. They have athletes all over the field. The ball bounced our way today. You have two good 4A teams sitting right here beside each other, and hopefully by the end of the season, we’ll both be playing well.”
Ada was scheduled to travel to Sulphur today, but the Bulldogs canceled that contest. Now, Vanoss will visit Cougar Field this afternoon for a 4 p.m. varsity contest.
Meanwhile, Byng is preparing for its spring break road trip to Florida. The Pirates will play the Pine Forest Eagles Tuesday (March 19) at 5:30 p.m.; the Choctawhatchee Indians Wednesday (March 20) at 5 p.m and the Niceville Eagles Thursday (March 21) at 3 p.m.