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story.lead_photo.caption MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Farmington junior Drew Sturgeon pitches against Springdale. The Cardinals lost 8-2 Friday at Randall Tyson Recreation Complex.

SPRINGDALE -- Farmington sustained an 8-2 loss to 6A Springdale (5-2) at the Randall Tyson Recreational Complex Friday, yet Cardinal coach Jay Harper thinks the best is yet to come.

"I'm going to say two things right now that I normally wouldn't say at this point of the season," Harper said. "No. 1 -- we're still trying to feel out who is the top dog on this baseball team, who is going to take charge and control and be a leader. We're inexperienced right now. And No. 2 -- people better get us now because we've got a bunch of freshmen pushing our upper classmen. We're going to be a good baseball team."

Harper expects practice competition will eventually translate into success as the team becomes more seasoned.

Farmington senior Ellison Stephens hit a 2-run bomb in the top of the first inning at Bob Lyall Field staking the Cardinals to an early 2-0 lead after Tate Sutton was hit by a pitch.

Those would be the only runs of the game for Farmington (2-4), which lost at Russellville, 12-2, and defeated Ozark, 7-5, earlier last week.

"We'll play really good one night then not so good the next," Harper said. "We're just not scoring runs. We're leaving people on base."

He plans to rectify that as well as a trend this season with the Cardinals losing each time they have taken a 2-0 lead.

"We're going to stop that," Harper said.

Eric Hill pitched the first inning for Farmington before giving way to Drew Sturgeon, who induced a fly-out to end a Springdale threat leaving two runners stranded in the bottom of the fourth. The fourth ended with Springdale leading 6-2.

Sturgeon, the Cardinal leadoff hitter, singled to begin the fifth, but two batters later the inning ended with a double play by the Bulldogs when Eric Hill hit a line drive to shortstop, who stepped on the bag to get a courtesy runner out at second.

Farmington responded with an outstanding defensive play of its own in the bottom of the fifth. Cardinal catcher Trey Hill threw a runner out trying to steal second to negate a leadoff walk. Sturgeon recorded two strike-outs in the inning, the second on a called strike three to Brock Pounders.

Springdale added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on Will Mueller's RBI single into left field and a passed ball.

This week Farmington plays host to 4A-1 Conference foe, Huntsville, on Thursday. Game time is 5 p.m.

Sports on 03/13/2019

Print Headline: Harper: Opponents Better Get Us Now

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