May 21, 2014 Edition

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Walnut Ridge's Lane Kennedy connects with a pitch during the Bobcats' second-round game against Magazine in the Class 2A State Baseball Tournament on Saturday. Walnut Ridge won the game 12-2.
TD Photo ~ Ashley George

WR advances to
state baseball finals

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Bobcats defeated Parkers Chapel 1-0 in the semifinals of the 2A State Baseball Tournament Monday in Pine Bluff. The Bobcats will face Junction City for the 2A State Championship on Friday at 7 p.m. at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

This is the second time in school history that Walnut Ridge will play for a state championship in baseball and the first time since 1999.

Against, Parkers Chapel, the Bobcats got a clutch pitching performance from senior Baron Estes, who limited the Trojans to just four hits while registering 10 strikeouts. Parkers Chapel loaded the bases in the third inning and again in the fifth, but in each inning, Estes was able to retire the side without allowing a run.

Walnut Ridge scored the game's only run in the fifth inning when Will Weir reached second base on a one-out double, then moved to third when the Trojans failed to catch a pop-up. Luke Wall missed on a squeeze bunt attempt, leaving Weir trapped in a rundown between third and home. The Parkers Chapel third baseman mishandled a throw, allowing Weir to score.

The Bobcats managed just four hits themselves, with Cole Hicks going 3-for-3, with a double, to lead the Cats. Weir was 1-for-2, with a double and scored a run.

Second round

Walnut Ridge erupted for nine runs in the second inning en route to a 12-2 five-inning victory over Magazine in the second round on Saturday.

Estes led the Bobcats' offense, going 3-for-3 at the plate, with three RBIs. Wall drove in two runs for the Cats.

Wall was the winning pitcher, holding Magazine to two runs on three hits, with four strikeouts.

First round

The Bobcats survived an exciting seventh inning to defeat the Dierks Outlaws 6-5 in a first-round contest on Friday.

Walnut Ridge led 4-3 heading into the final inning, only to see the Outlaws score two runs in the top of the frame to take a 5-4 lead.

Martin Crisler started the Bobcats' rally in the bottom of the inning with a one-out single. After Cash Lee reached on a base-on-balls, the runners advanced to second and third on a passed ball. Layne Ditto singled, scoring Crisler with the tying run and allowing Lee to move to third. Lee then scored the winning run when a pickoff attempt by the Dierks pitcher was off the mark.

Weir went 3-for-3 at the plate, with an RBI, and Estes had a two-run single in the first inning.

Ditto pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits and striking out seven. All of the Outlaws' runs were unearned.

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