COLUMBIA – If you were to pick someone to feel bad for after the Hickman baseball team's 17-5 win over visiting Smith-Cotton on Wednesday, the best choice would probably not be a person at all.
It would probably be Jake Cowan's bat.
The poor thing, a white and red Rawlings 5150, certainly took its share of lumps during the game. With the Kewpies trailing by two runs in the first inning, the senior left fielder stepped in the box with teammates standing on first and second base.
But he got under a 1-0 pitch and lifted an easy pop-up to the right fielder. Cowan disgustedly chucked his bat halfway up the third-base line.
The same thing happened when Cowan batted for the second time in the inning and made the third out on another pop-out, except then, his bat nearly cut down senior shortstop Ryan McMahan, who was on third and running home on the play.
"I was going more for the dugout, but it just kind of slipped a little bit," Cowan said.
And it was a double whammy for the bat in the third inning. It first viciously collided with the ball, sending a hard line drive over the cars parked beyond the left field fence for a grand slam, and then the ground, when Cowan flipped it behind his back like a basketball player throwing a no-look pass.
The bat still had to deal with the impact of another home run, a solo shot for Cowan in the fourth inning, but he set it down more gently that time.
Although some coaches would be incensed with Cowan's show of emotion the first two times, Hickman coach Dan Devine Jr. recognized that it stemmed from Cowan's competitiveness.
"Jake didn't have very good swings the first two times up, and he doesn't like it," Devine said. "Being a competitor, you look for ways to fix that, and it wasn't that he hit home runs, he took two good swings. He just (swung) the bat well after that."
Junior catcher Colby Fitch also hit a three-run shot for the Kewpies. The game ended after five innings because of the mercy rule.
Hickman plays Windsor on Thursday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Devine said senior Andrew Roseman would likely start the game.