The Cougars exploded for 11 runs in the first inning against Happy Camp and coasted to an 18-5 win in a game shortened to four innings. Braxton Barnes pitched the first two innings and struck out six batters.

 The Weed Cougars baseball team beat Happy Camp 18-5 on Tuesday, April 30, then dropped a doubleheader at Fall River 8-0 and 11-1 on Friday, likely ending their playoff hopes.

The Cougars exploded for 11 runs in the first inning against Happy Camp and coasted to an 18-5 win in a game shortened to four innings. Braxton Barnes pitched the first two innings and struck out six batters.

Enrique Sanchez went 2-2, with a double and three RBI. Brandon Cordes and George Cook both had two hits, a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Hunter Smith doubled and knocked in two runs.

With a big lead, Coach Oates could give a few position players the chance to pitch an inning. George Cook probably wishes he never got the opportunity. He gave up five runs without surrendering a hit, walking three and striking out one batter. With a huge lead, the Cougars and Cook himself could laugh at the pitcher’s struggles.

Coach Oates felt that the team was “on the cusp” for a playoff berth, and that a win on Friday at Fall River might get them in. Alas, they lost both games and could only scratch out one run against a 16-5 Fall River team ranked first in division VI by Maxpreps.

The Cougars finished 1-7 in the tough Shasta Cascade League, but had a winning 6-4 record in non-league action.

Jarrod Keen led the team in hitting with a .451 average. Braxton Barnes hit .422 and knocked in 22 runs. He hit the only Cougar home run.

Barnes struck out 89 batters in 38 innings, which would equate to fanning 21 batters in a 9 inning game. He’s drawn attention from some colleges, and his goal is to pitch for a 4-year school.

But Barnes is mature enough to know his limitations. “I probably threw about 75 percent fastballs this year,” he said.

Knowing that he needs to work on developing a good breaking ball and a change-up, he’s leaning toward the College of the Siskiyous as a place that can help him improve.