April 26, 2017 EditionAlso in this issue...
Cats clinch title
The Walnut Ridge Bobcats clinched the 3A/4A District 3 regular-season conference baseball title with a 13-3 rout of Melbourne on Thursday at Stewart Park.
Melbourne jumped on the Cats early, with two runs in the first inning and one in the second. Walnut Ridge got on the scoreboard with four runs in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded, Cade Burris delivered a triple to tie the game 3-3. Burris then scored on a double by Chase Baker, giving the Bobcats a 4-3 lead.
Walnut Ridge broke the game open with five runs in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 9-3. Walnut Ridge added four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 10-run lead and end the game due to the run rule.
Baker finished 3-for-4 at the plate, including two doubles, and drove in three runs. Chaz Burgin also went 3-for-4. Will Weir and Kai Cunningham each had two hits for the Bobcats.
Michael Bounds pitched a complete game on the mound. He allowed three runs on six hits and finished with eight strikeouts.
Walnut Ridge traveled to Lepanto to face the East Poinsett County Warriors on April 19. The Bobcats needed eight innings to prevail 7-6 in the back-and-forth contest.
After two scoreless innings, Walnut Ridge broke on top in the top of the third when Weir led off the inning with a walk and came home on a double by Burris to give the Cats a 1-0 lead.
EPC moved in front 4-1 with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Bobcats answered with five runs in the sixth inning to regain the advantage at 6-4, with Weir's bases-loaded triple being the big blow.
EPC rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
After the first two Bobcat batters were retired in the top of the eighth, Weir drew a walk. While attempting to steal second, an errant throw by EPC's shortstop allowed Weir to score the go-ahead run. Cunningham retired the side in the bottom of the inning to give the Bobcats the win.
Burris scored the game's only run on Baker's two-out double in the sixth inning as Walnut Ridge edged the Pocahontas Redskins 1-0 on April 18 at Pocahontas.
Shaw went 3-for-3 at the plate for Walnut Ridge. Baker had a hit and an RBI, and Burris had a hit and scored a run.
Phillips tossed a complete-game shutout. He allowed six hits and recorded five strikeouts.