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Bobcats’ explosive offense continues as season heats up

The Phil Campbell Bobcats continue to put up astronomical numbers from a baseball standpoint as the season gets into full gear. The Bobcats went 4-0 this past week to improve their record to 6-0, and they scored 58 runs.

That’s right – 58 runs.

Phil Campbell beat Winfield 22-5, Curry 20-0, Hamilton 13-2 and New Hope 3-2.

In the Winfield game, the Bobcats scored six runs in the third inning and nine runs in the seventh helped by nine Pirate errors.

Bryant Hyde and Mason Swinney led the way at the plate. Hyde went four-for-seven with three RBIs and three runs scored. Swinney went three-for-five on two doubles with five RBIs and scored four runs.

Cam Habada got the win on the mound, going three innings and giving up two hit and two runs while striking out six batters.

In the Curry game, Phil Campbell scored 16 runs in the second inning alone, getting a three-run homer from Hyde and a two-run shot by Austen Baker.

Phil Campbell had 15 hits in the game, including a triple from Trey Leindecker and doubles from Swinney, Habada and Bryant Anthony.

Trey Leindecker went two-for-three with three RBIs and scored two runs. Swinney, Hyde, Baker and John Miller Lawson also scored two runs each.

Ridge Raper got the win pitching four innings and allowing no runs and two hits while striking out 11.

In the Hamilton game, Raper had three hits, including a double and three RBIs. Anthony had three hits including a double. Hyde, Swinney and Baker all had two hits each. Lawson scored three runs, while Hyde and Baker scored two runs each.

Baker was the winning pitcher, going three innings giving up one run and one hit and striking out four.

In the closest game of the week for the Bobcats, Phil Campbell beat New Hope 3-2.

After leading 2-0 through three full innings, New Hope scored two runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game. A balk by the New Hope pitcher in the bottom of the sixth inning scored Leindecker to give the Bobcats the win.

Mason Swinney led the way for Phil Campbell, going two-for-four with a double and two runs scored.

Swinney went the first five innings on the mound, giving up one hit and two runs.

Luke Barnwell got the win, closing out the last two innings without giving up a run or hit.

LOFTY EXPECTATIONS

One thing the Phil Campbell Bobcat baseball program is used to is lofty expectations. This year will be no exception.

When the 2020 season ended abruptly because of the coronavirus shut down, the Bobcats were playing at a high level and expected to make a run deep into the playoffs. All but one of those players are back and ready to finish where they left off.

“The way last year ended was rough,” said Phil Campbell Coach Jonathan Raper. “We were having such a good season.

“There is a lot of anticipation and excitement. This team likes to work. They have good chemistry.”

Raper said his team is strong, but he knows that they will have to earn it.

“Phil Campbell baseball has a good reputation,” said Raper, “but you have to go out and prove it every day. I think a lot of the expectations people have about our program are based on what we have done in the past and what people think of our program, but that doesn’t win games.

“Our guys work hard. They put a lot into it,” he said. “They work out and hit early in the mornings and put the work in.”

The work is already showing dividends, with the team’s 6-0 start.

The Bobcats have as strong of a lineup from top to bottom that can be found in this area. The team’s top two pitchers are back: Raper, a Wallace State Community College signee, and Swinney. Raper and Swinney are also two of the best bats in the Bobcats lineup, along with the other experienced bats in Levi Crittenden, Bryant Hyde, Trey Leindecker, Austen Baker and Luke Barnwell.

Brett Saint, who is another top player returning for the Bobcats, is still nursing a knee injury and will hopefully be back in the lineup soon.

Two newcomers for the Bobcats will be John Miller Lawson batting in the cleanup spot and Bryant Anthony behind the plate at catcher.

Phil Campbell is an area with Danville, East Lawrence and Vinemont.

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