With Heber Springs leading 6-3 after four innings, Vilonia scored two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to rally past the Panthers 7-6 on Tuesday in a non-conference game at Panther Field.
“We have made a lot of progress and that is why I am most upset,” said Heber Coach B.J. Greene. “We should have won that game. We left the bases loaded twice, left a runner at third base four times. We struck out looking four times and swinging six times. The thing I am frustrated about right now is our team has gotten much better since Week 1, but we are still leaving runners out there.”
Paden Flippin led the Panthers (3-6), finishing 2-for-3 with a double, single and 3 RBI, while also swiping two bases and scoring one run. Brooks Morgan (1-for-3) added two runs and two stolen bases, while Judson Smith went 1-for-3 with one stolen base and one run scored.
Colby Allen (1-for-2) and Dillion Moore (1-for-1) each registered a base hit and scored a run.
“We put a couple of guys on and they had a couple of guys put it in play,” said Greene. “Today was more of a day to let all of our pitchers get in some work. They did what we didn't do and that was timely hitting. They scored runs when they needed them and had good execution on a squeeze play.”
Allen got the start on the mound and tossed two innings, limiting Vilonia to three hits and one earned run. Morgan relieved Allen in the third and pitched 2 1/3, giving up three runs on two hits. Moore finished out the game, allowing three runs on two hits.
Heber opens 2-4A Conference play today against Lonoke, which returns several starters from last season's state runner-up team. “Lonoke is a good team,” said Greene. “They bring back everybody but two kids off that state runner-up team. We are going to have to put the ball in play because they are going to have some kids that can throw the ball.
“We've got a tall task at hand, but nobody expects us to do anything in conference so we have some things on our side and I think we can sneak up on some people and Lonoke is one of them if we can put the ball in play.”