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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Panthers ‘squeeze’ into regional

  • Heber Springs extended its season with a 4-2 win over Newport on Friday in the quarterfinals of the 2-4A district tournament in Newport. The fifth-seeded Panthers executed two squeeze bunts that ended up making the difference, ending the fourth-seeded Greyhounds’ season.

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  • Heber Springs extended its season with a 4-2 win over Newport on Friday in the quarterfinals of the 2-4A district tournament in Newport. The fifth-seeded Panthers executed two squeeze bunts that ended up making the difference, ending the fourth-seeded Greyhounds’ season.
    After falling to Lonoke 5-2 in Saturday’s semifinal round, Heber advances to the 4A East Regional tournament as the fourth seed. The Panthers will face 3-4A district champion Jonesboro Westside at 5 p.m. on Friday at Panther Field located at the Heber Springs Sports Complex. Westside defeated Trumann 10-0 in the 3-4A district championship game.
    Heber, which avenged a regular-season sweep by Newport, fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning but ace pitcher Michael Ludwig held the Greyhounds scoreless until the seventh.
    Meanwhile, the Panthers took the lead in the top of the fourth when Judson Smith sent a sharp grounder to the right side that was misplayed, allowing Geoffrey Anderson and Jackson Thomas to score as Heber snatched a 2-1 lead.
    In the sixth inning, Heber added two important insurance runs as Michael Kramer singled and eventually scored on a safety squeeze bunt from Brooks Morgan.
    Derrik Fisher added a single then pinch-runner Zahn Crider scored on a  well-placed squeeze bunt  by Tyler Dennis, pushing the Panthers’ lead to 4-1 entering the bottom of the sixth.
    Ludwig, who scattered eight hits while striking out nine and walking one in seven innings, limited the Greyhounds to one run in the bottom of the seventh as the Panthers held on for a 4-2 victory.
    In Saturday’s loss to Lonoke, Heber fell behind 2-0 before tying the score with two runs in the top of the third. But, the Jackrabbits reclaimed the lead in the bottom half of the third and rode their stout pitching to victory.
    Anderson and Morgan each had two hits to pace the Panthers, while Ludwig contributed a double and a run scored. Anderson also scored a run.
    Clinton won district, beating Lonoke in the championship game.
     

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