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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Rebels rope Bulldogs on way to Eagle Classic title

  • The Sacred Heart Rebels jumped out to a nine-run lead and cruised to a 14-5 victory over Quitman on Friday in the opening round of the inaugural Eagle Classic in Greers Ferry.
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  • The Sacred Heart Rebels jumped out to a nine-run lead and cruised to a 14-5 victory over Quitman on Friday in the opening round of the inaugural Eagle Classic in Greers Ferry. Sacred Heart then defeated West Side 10-0 on Saturday to win the title. Quitman starting pitcher Chase Freeman retired the Rebels in order in the first frame and the right-hander worked around a walk and two errors in the top of the second. But, Sacred Heart broke open a scoreless game in the third, starting with two Quitman fielding miscues. Freeman fired back with a strikeout before Hamp Maus delivered an RBI single to left field that plated Adam Hoyt. Joe Beck followed with a 2 RBI double to the alley in left center, scoring Adam Gottsponder and Maus. Hunter Andrews added an RBI single to right field, scoring Beck as the Rebels' lead grew to 4-0 before Freeman got out of the jam when Austin Andrews lined out to Dakota Bohannan in left field. Quitman nearly stirred up a rally in the bottom of the third as Bohannan, Freeman and Bradley Heavner drew consecutive walks to load the bases with no out. However, the Rebels escaped behind an inning-ending double play turned by pitcher Austin Andrews, who snared a line drive off the bat of Walker Johnson and threw to first base to double up Heavner. Sacred Heart busted the game wide open in the top of the fourth, when they pushed across four runs before the Bulldogs registered an out. Following walks by Hoyt, Gottsponer and Jonathan Ogle, Maus delivered an RBI single to left field that cleared the bases once a three-base throwing error allowed Gottsponer and Ogle to score along with Hoyt. With two out, Maus scored on a wild pitch and Beck, who walked, scored on a fielding error as the Rebels built a 9-0 lead before Quitman relief pitcher Walker Johnson got the Bulldogs out of more trouble with a strikeout ¬ his third of the inning. Down 9-0, Quitman (1-2) battled back with five runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth, starting when Ty Davis looped an infield single over the mound. Michael McRae pulled a single to left field and Trevor Watts took one for the team, which loaded the bases. After Andrews induced a pop-out, Bohannan worked an RBI walk that scored Davis. Andrews used a wicked changeup for a strikeout before Heavner drilled a two-out single to left field for an RBI that plated McRae. Sacred Heart relieved Andrews with Alex Fresneda, who was greeted by Sawyer Johnson's 2 RBI single laced up the middle, scoring Watts and Bohannan. After Walker Johnson walked, giving Quitman runners at first and second, the Rebels caught a break when a wild pitch caromed directly back to Maus, who threw out a runner at third from his catcher's position. Leading 9-5 entering the fifth inning, Sacred Heart added an insurance run when Gottsponer drove an RBI double to deep left field. Fresnada pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth and the Rebels tacked on four more runs in the sixth, highlighted by Ogle's RBI single to left field. Down to its final three cracks, McRae led off the seventh with a single for Quitman, but Hoyt, Sacred Heart's second relief pitcher, slammed the door by fanning three of the next four batters.

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