Baseball: Saints headed back to title game

LONOKE -- On the way to his team's title defense, Shiloh Christian baseball coach Moe Henry said he has noticed a different approach this season.

On Monday afternoon, the Saints earned the right to defend their title with a 3-2 victory over Malvern in a Class 4A state semifinal. It is the sixth trip to the title game for Shiloh Christian overall. The Saints will be after their fifth state title at 3 p.m. Friday in Baum Stadium.

"Our guys were hungry, and they knew the goal that we had that we had set out for them,'' Henry said. "It was a little bit different than last year when we started five sophomores, so it was a bit of motivation for them. Last year they were just kinda going along and win a game, win a game and when they got there it was, 'OK, we are here.'

"But this year that was the goal for them, and I think that did serve as a little motivation for them."

The Saints jumped to a 2-1 lead in the first inning and led 3-1 after three against Malvern on Monday. The teams were pushed to a Monday gameday after rains forced the tournament to go an extra day.

Shiloh Christian shortstop Michael Connolly singled in a pair of runs in the first, and he later added another RBI in the third to make it 3-1 on his second single. Connor Clark had three hits for the Saints.

Landon Brown picked up the victory for the Saints, allowing eight hits with five walks and striking out eight. He had the bases loaded with one out in the first and ended the inning with a pair of strikeouts. Malvern had plenty of opportunities early. The Leopards left two on in the second, fourth and fifth innings.

Malvern did score in the first on Brandon Scott's RBI single that made it 2-1. The Leopards made it 3-2 in the fourth on Parker Freer's RBI single.

"I felt like we left some plays out there. There are some little things that we probably wish we were able to get back," Henry said. "But overall at this time of the year we just keep playing, and we did enough to win. Ultimately, if you win in the state semis you did well enough, so I'm satisfied."

Malvern managed to get the tying run on base in both the sixth and seventh innings. Tyler Roth came on in the seventh and struck out two to earn the save.

The Saints will take on Nashville in the final.


Pottsville 4, Gravette 0

The combination of Pottsville pitcher Aspen Campbell and three errors was too much for Gravette to overcome on Monday in the Class 4A state semifinals.

Campbell allowed just two hits in a complete-game win with three strikeouts to out-duel Gravette's sensational freshman Cally Kildow. Kildow allowed seven hits but just two earned runs to go along with six strikeouts.

Gravette (24-8) could not put anything together offensively against Campbell, getting just two singles.

Pottsville took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Abbie Cain opened the game with a single and worked her way around to score on a passed ball.

Pottsville added two more runs in the sixth inning when Skylar Campbell reached on a Gravette error and scored on Aspen Campbell's RBI double. Aspen Campbell later scored on another Gravette error for a 3-0 lead. Skylar Campbell had two RBIs in the win.

That was more than enough for Aspen Campbell to send her team to the 4A state championship game at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Bogle Park.


With two strikes and two outs in the sixth, Nashville Coach Kyle Slaton told Tyler Hanson to take his lead off of third base.

Then he said go.

Hanson, dashing to home plate before Monticello pitcher Nick Griffin noticed, was ruled safe on a bang-bang play with the go-ahead run in a 4-3 victory over the Billies in the Class 4A semifinals Monday. Nashville will meet defending state champion Shiloh Christian, a 3-2 winner over Malvern, in the state title game Friday in Fayetteville.

Monticello used a three-run fifth inning to tie the score at 3-3 before Hanson reached on an error in the sixth inning prior to stealing home.

“I was looking at it a little earlier, and I thought [Griffin] was kinda slow [throwing to the catcher]. Right before he got the ball back, I told Tyler, ‘Let’s just start walking down this line,’ and we just took off and took a chance.

“To me, it was just do or die.”

Nashville got a solid performance from Zach Jamison, who allowed 8 hits, struck out 6 and walked just 1. He beat Monticello 8-0 in the regional semifinals.

Sports on 05/16/2017

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