By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Munford Cougars gave 100 percent in the first game of two against rival the Brighton Cardinals.
On April 21 at the Munford Baseball Field, the Cougars got solid pitching and good defense holding the Cardinals to 2 runs. But the stellar pitching of Brighton ace Nate Newman kept the Cougars scoreless allowing the Cardinals to prevail 2-0.
“Everybody gave 110 percent,” Newman said of the Cardinals. “I was happy with that home run. I was throwing my heart out. Also I have to give it to Colby with that clutch hit into the outfield.”
Newman made the 2-0 lead hold up after Cardinal senior Colby Poston added some insurance in the fifth inning with hit causing mass confusion but scoring a Brighton run.
Once the dust settled on who was out and safe, Newman returned to the mound for the sixth and seventh inning to finish off the Cougars.
“My two-seam and my curveball were working well for me,” Newman noted. “I couldn’t find my four-seam because I was throwing that in the dirt. I didn’t throw my change-up. I just kept throwing the four-seam and curveball tonight.”
Brighton’s other top gun Colton Hathcock noticed early Newman was having some issues with one of his pitches, but the senior wanted to ease his classmate’s mind.
“He was in his zone pretty good tonight,” Hathcock said. “He was bouncing some in the dirt but I was hoping that home run would settle him down and give him some confidence.”
Hathcock crushed a solo shot in the fourth inning to break the scoreless tie. That seemed to settle down Newman and he went into cruise control with the two pitches he had command of. With Hathcock signed to Memphis, Newman is still trying to land a college home for next year. Still under the radar Newman acknowledged he does take the mound with something to prove each time.
“It keeps me going 110 percent,” he said. “Everybody thinks I am less because I don’t throw 90 like this guy right here (Colton). I just get outs. You have to be a little cocky sometimes.”
Newman and the Cardinals had a quick turnaround facing the Cougars in a rematch the following night at Brighton. Hathcock was the scheduled starter.
“I just want to go out and do my thing,” Hathcock said. “I guess I need to throw my fastball. It will be good to get a district sweep.”