Stepbrothers on opposite sides when Marshall Mavericks visit Hallsville Bobcats tonight
April 21, 2017 at 4 a.m.
HALLSVILLE - When Marshall and Hallsville go head-to-head on the baseball diamond tonight in a Harrison County showdown, not only will the winning team have bragging rights but it will determine whether Trevor Clark or Mason Higginbotham will have bragging rights over the other.
"His mom and my dad got married a couple years ago," Clark said. "Dad normally comes in a red outfit and my stepmom usually comes in a purple outfit and they sit dead in the middle."
"It's kind of a house-divided type thing," Higginbotham added. "It's going to be energetic. There's definitely going to be a lot of energy."
Clark is currently batting .375 with four home runs, nine doubles, one triple, 29 RBI and 16 runs. From the mound he's 7-1 in 46 innings with an ERA of 3.00 and has 34 strikeouts.
"I really think with him getting to play and pitch last year as a sophomore, he had the skills and tools to be a good baseball player but getting that year of experience as a sophomore, I think he has really blossomed as a junior," Marshall head coach Derek Dunaway said of Clark. "He's a kid that just goes out and plays baseball. Sometimes I don't know how he does it. He just goes out and knows his role, knows what his job is and doesn't think a lot about things. Baseball players can get distracted by thoughts and he just goes out and plays the game, plays it hard and gets results."
Higginbotham is currently 4-1 as a pitcher. He has pitched 31-and-one-third innings where he has an ERA of 1.79 with 32 strikeouts and three walks.
"He leads by example, by his play," Hallsville head baseball coach Scott Mitchell said. "He's not very vocal. He's kind of quiet but his play is part of his leadership qualities. He's always going to do the right thing. He's going to be in the right place. He's very disciplined. He's the kind of player you love coaching."
The two have played together on select baseball teams since they were in junior high and they each starting playing the sport at a young age.
"I was in T-ball one year and I hit the ball off the fence and the kid in front of me wouldn't move," Higginbotham recalls. "I just remember crying in the dugout."
"My earliest memory would be 7 and 8 with the pitching machine when we went and won the World Series," Clark said. "That was with half the team that's in here now."
That team would be the Mavericks, who are coming off their fifth straight win and currently own an overall record of 17-8 and a District 16-5A record of 7-3. The Bobcats are 22-3 overall 8-1 against district opponents and are in charge in the driver's seat when it comes to their own destiny. If they win out, they'll win the district. The Mavs will need help in order to climb up a spot or two but they've secured a playoff spot and believe that anything can happen from there.
"As I go through the year, my confidence builds up and I do better," Clark said. "I grind in practice and that makes a big difference. We just continue to continue to get better. We're good but I don't think we're where we should be yet. We're starting to play more as a team and if we continue to play as a team then we're going to be tough to beat."
"We definitely have a lot of talent," Higginbotham added of his Bobcats. "We're playing well together. I see big things."
Marshall and Hallsville met on March 28 where the Bobcats escaped with a narrow 4-3 victory.
"Last time we played them, it was definitely a close game," Higginbotham said. "Cameron Haller is a strong hitter. They hit two home runs so they can definitely swing it but they're going to come out with a chip on their shoulder and try to get us on our home turf."
Regardless of the outcome, one step brother will have bragging rights over the other after tonight's game.
"I think it pushes us to compete more," Clark added. "It's really just, go home, trade some words, go back on the field and whoever wins gets to go home with the 'talk crap award.'"
Tonight's game is slated for a 7 p.m. first pitch.