May 14, 2014 Edition

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Walnut Ridge's Layne Ditto pitches to a Riverside batter during the first round of the 2A North Regional Tournament in Lepanto. The Bobcats won the game 10-1 and went on to win the regional title.
TD Photo ~ Ashley George

Bobcats are regional champions

Hillcrest first baseman Evan Doyle stretches for the ball as he tries to pick off an Armorel runner in the 1A Region 2 Tournament Friday at Brockwell. The Screamin' Eagles' season came to an end with a 2-1 first-round loss.
Submitted Photo ~ Marla Helms
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Bobcat baseball team defeated Marked Tree 6-1 in the championship game of the 2A North Regional Tournament on Monday at Lepanto.

Walnut Ridge advances to the 2A State Tournament, hosted by Woodlawn High School at Rison. The Bobcats will face Dierks in the first round on Thursday at 10 a.m.

Against Marked Tree, Walnut Ridge moved out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Martin Crisler, which scored Layne Ditto. A wild pitch by the Indians' hurler resulted in the Bobcats' second run.

The Indians cut the lead to 2-1 with a run in the top of the fourth inning.

Walnut Ridge opened some breathing room with a three-run fifth inning. Cole Hicks doubled, scoring Cash Lee. Baron Estes followed with a two-run, scoring Ditto and Hicks, for a 5-1 advantage. The Bobcats added another run in the sixth inning to set the final score.

Estes pitched a complete game, allowing the Indians just one hit, while ringing up 10 strikeouts.


Walnut Ridge defeated the host team, East Poinsett County, 3-1 in semifinal action on Saturday.

Luke Wall earned the pitching victory, allowing one run on five hits, with nine strikeouts.

Estes went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

First round

Ditto turned in a strong performance at the plate and on the mound, as the Bobcats defeated Riverside 10-1 in the first round on Friday.

Ditto went 2-for-3 from the batter's box and drove in three runs. On the mound, he allowed one run on six hits, with nine strikeouts.

Hicks batted 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Drake Smelser added two hits.

S-H - Marked Tree

Also in the first round on Friday, the Sloan-Hendrix Greyhounds fell to Marked Tree 11-3.

The game was tied 1-1 when the Greyhounds took the lead with a run in the second inning. Marked Tree's bats came alive, as the Indians scored four runs in both the third and fourth innings to move out to a 9-2 lead. Sloan-Hendrix added a run in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 9-3, before the Indians closed out the scoring with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning.

For Sloan-Hendrix, Colby Johnson went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored a run. Eric Hill took the loss on the mound.

1A Region 2

In other regional action involving Lawrence County teams, the Hillcrest Screamin' Eagles fell to Armorel 2-1 in the first round of the 1A Region 2 Baseball Tournament at Brockwell.

The Black Rock Lady Zebras lost to Viola 26-0 in the first round of the 1A Region 2 Softball Tournament.

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