By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Snow and ice during the week of March 2-6 cancelled all the preparation for opening week.
March 9 finally arrived and the wintry mix was melted away. The ice and snow was drown in the downpour of rain. So opening day for most area teams was postponed until later in the week.
Finally the Munford Cougars and FACS Crusaders took to the diamond on March 11 under the Munford afternoon sky. The bus ride up to Tipton County might have given the Crusaders a chance to get focused on the game leading to a 12-3 victory in the Lewis Harris Tournament contest.
“Playing right after school is always a little tough,” Munford Head Coach Jake Garbuzinski said of the 2:45 start. “But you hope at the same time we’d be a little excited for the first game of the year. Like FACS made a couple of errors, we made a couple of errors.
“Nobody has been on the field,” Coach Garbu added. “We haven’t been on the field since Feb. 12. That’s kind of scary to say. There’s going to be a few pregame jitters. And that’s what tournaments like the Lewis Harris are for and the Best of the West next week are for getting us ready.”
The month away from the field appeared to hurt the Cougars falling behind 3-0 in the first inning. Once Munford settled down and starting pitcher Joseph Fulcher struck out two Crusaders in a 1-2-3 second inning.
Fulcher added two more K’s in the third inning but FACS scratched out two runs to build its lead to 5-0. The Cougars tried to rally in their half of the third loading the bases with two outs. But a strikeout ended Munford’s threat.
FACS was ahead 7-0 by the middle of the fourth inning. Munford got on the scoreboard for the first time in the 2015 season when Gunner Vines singled in a run. Then his teammate Caleb Craig followed with an RBI base hit to make the score 7-2.
But the Crusaders outscored Munford 5-1 the remainder of the contest to win 12-3. Vines drove in the final run of the game for the Cougars.
“We’re playing a lot of young guys,” Garbuzinski said. “We’ve got some older guys who have been around for a couple of coaches. They’re trying to get use to me. I’m getting a good feel for them and they’re getting a good feel for me.
“We’re just coming out here trying to do the best we can,” he concluded. “It’s going to take a few days. But we’re going to get it right.”
ECS took on Munford later that day winning 8-2.
The Cougars were back in action last Thursday in the Lewis Harris Tournament taking on Bolton. Munford earned its first victory of 2015 6-4 with Kyle Hindman picking up the victory. Vines hit a homer in the win.