The Rolla baseball team finished off their week on Friday with a matchup against Cuba. The game was shifted to Rolla's home turf because of the rain earlier in the week and Rolla took advantage in a 5-1 victory.
The Bulldogs got started by scoring runs in the third and fourth innings on RBI from Blayne Yarger and Parker Yoakum. After Cuba scored their lone run of the game in the top of the fifth, Rolla put the game away with a three spot in the bottom of the inning. Colby Shivers got things started with a single and a steal. Shivers went over to third on a sac bunt by Brady Yarger, before Eric Henson drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Wyatt Sowers, who got the start in left for Cole Daniels, drove in a run with a single. Collin Woods followed that with an RBI single of his own, before Sowers came around to score on a wild pitch to bring the score to 5-1.
Rolla was able to finish off the win easily thanks to a great performance from Treyton Ruth on the mound. The Rolla ace pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits and a walk to go with one unearned run. He struck out 10 batters along the way.
"We saw Cuba's ace, he's a kid that throws in the mid-80s and I thought Treyton matched him pitch for pitch and he may have out-pitched him," said Rolla head coach Kenny Hohe on Ruth's performance.
Offensively, Woods had an excellent game in the leadoff spot, going 2-3 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Blayne Yarger added a pair of hits, a run and an RBI. Yoakum had a hit and an RBI, while Sowers added a pair of base knocks and a run.
Woods has been a key player for Rolla in the last week or so and coach Hohe likes what he's seeing out of the junior shortstop.
"He hit into some tough luck early in the season, but in the last two games in particular he's hitting everything on a line and he's hitting it where the other team isn't," said Hohe. "He's been doing a great job of sitting back on pitches and taking them the other way."
Coach Hohe really liked that this win over Cuba showed Rolla's depth. Rolla was without two starters in Daniels and Ethan Stephenson, but the players that stepped into the lineup produced. Sowers had a pair of hits, drove in a run and scored for the Bulldogs. Luke Seest caught a good game behind the plate and reached base on a walk. That depth for Rolla could be crucial late in the season and they proved the strength of the Rolla bench on Friday.
"I think one of the things that gets overlooked at times is that we have some depth in our program. We had a couple of starters that were out against Cuba for various reasons - school functions or sickness or injury - and you've got guys like Eric Henson and Wyatt Sowers who are able to pick up right where those other guys left off," said coach Hohe. "It adds confidence if those guys have to come off the bench or they're needed for a spot start, we're going to be okay."
Rolla has now strung together a couple of wins and they're going to want to keep that streak going as they have a tough slate coming up. Their first game of the week will come against a District opponent as they host Smith-Cotton on Tuesday. They'll then have a pair of conference games with a trip to Parkview on Thursday, before a rescheduled game with Glendale on Friday for Senior night.
"I think for us, weather always factors into things, but if we're able to play our games and if we can get outside and do the things we've done the last couple of weeks, I like our chances," said coach Hohe. "We've seen Smith-Cotton once, they're a really good team, and we're going to have to play extremely well to get those guys for a second time. Parkview and Glendale, two of our conference rivals, Glendale is Senior Night, Parkview will be our first road game in a while, so we're really excited for the opportunity and the challenges coming up."