Aurora baseball splits tough week with Catholic, Hollister

Skylan Akins

Aurora senior Jaesik Friggle strikes out an Irish batter with a nasty curveball Thursday against Springfield Catholic. Friggle struck out eight batters in 5.2 innings while just walking one batter. (Photo by Skylan Akins)

In the past seven years or so, there hasn’t been anyone better in Big 8 baseball than the trio of Aurora, Springfield Catholic and Hollister. Aurora got to take on the other two of the trio in the toughest week for the Houn’ Dawgs of the season. They were able to split the week as the Dawgs renewed two of the best rivalries in southwest Missouri.
The Dawgs opened Tuesday with an impressive 6-1 win over an 11-3 Hollister Tiger team, near the Arkansas border behind an impressive outing on the mound by Crowder commit Trey Mulholland.
The Houn’ Dawgs didn’t fare nearly as well Thursday, as Springfield Catholic came to Aurora. Future Missouri Tiger Cole Morrison was on the mound for the Irish and he displayed why the Tigers showed interest in him as just a junior. Morrison threw four scoreless innings, fanning 10 Aurora batters, with a fastball that topped 90 mph. Catholic also struck offensively in the second, as the Irish went yard twice in a 7-run inning. Senior Jaesik Friggle was able to calm the storm in relief for the Dawgs until the fifth inning when the Irish extended the lead to 10-0. The Dawgs wouldn’t go down without a fight, as junior Kelton Brown left the yard for the first time in his career. Brothers Hayze and Heath Hoffman hit back-to-back singles before senior Ryan Clark drove Hayze in with a single of his own to cut the lead to 10-2. The Dawgs were back at it in the bottom of the sixth inning as singles by Friggle, Brown, and Hayze Hoffman led to two more runs, but the Dawgs were unable to get any closer as the Irish got the win, 10-4.

“I think we struggled to respond to the velocity," said Houn' Dawg skipper James Hoffman. "That’s the best velocity we have seen all year and I think if he is more consistent with his pitches, our guys could have dug in and locked in a little bit easier. I challenged our guys after we gave up the seven spot to compete every pitch. We play a seven-inning marathon, not a sprint, and our guys responded with some really good at bats and we had a lot of guys on base, but we just weren’t able to bring them home.”

Looking ahead
Aurora moves to 8-5 for the year with another big week scheduled. They opened with a showdown with 11-3 Rogersville on Tuesday, before returning home Thursday against rival Mt. Vernon at 4:30 p.m. They will wrap up at Monett, Friday.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


Please Login for Premium Content