May 16, 2012 Edition

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Walnut Ridge's Rowdy Ditto slides in to the bag safe during the Bobcats' 13-1 loss to Woodlawn in the second round of the Class 2A State Tournament in Pine Bluff.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George

Bobcats end season in
second round at state

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Bobcat baseball team took advantage of some late miscues to rally from a three-run deficit and edge Union Christian Academy 4-3 in the first round of the Class 2A State Tournament on Thursday at Pine Bluff.

Union Christian got on the scoreboard with a run in the second inning and added two more in the third for an early 3-0 lead.

The Bobcats were held scoreless until they were able to break through in the fifth inning to cut the Eagles' advantage to 3-1.

Walnut Ridge continued to trail 3-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning. Leadoff hitter Eric Wilcoxson walked and moved to third on Cole Hicks' ground rule double. A sacrifice fly by Hunter Flippo brought Wilcoxson home to score the Cats' second run and allowed Hicks to take third base. Hicks scored on a wild pitch, tying the contest at 3-3.

Neither team scored in the eighth inning. Ryan Vaughn took the mound in relief for Walnut Ridge and retired the Eagles' in order in the top of the ninth.

Hicks started the inning by reaching on an error. Zach Crisler followed with a single, and Flippo drew a walk to load the bases. Teague Phillips drew a base-on-balls, which allowed Hicks to trot home with the winning run.

Range Weeks started on the mound and pitched a strong eight innings for Walnut Ridge. He allowed three runs on six hits, with two strikeouts.

Second round

The Woodlawn Bears defeated Walnut Ridge 13-1 in second-round action on Friday.

The Bobcats were held to three hits for the game. Rowdy Ditto had a double and scored a run. Hufstedler and Crisler each had a hit for the Bobcats. Baron Estes took the loss on the mound.

Walnut Ridge ended the 2012 season with a 30-6 record. The Bobcats won district and regional titles during the postseason, as well as the Lawrence County Tournament and the Tri-County Tournament at Lepanto during the regular season.

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