Stuttgart's Ricebirds rolled to a 10-2 win over Heber Springs on Monday in 2-4A Conference play in Stuttgart.
The Panthers, who fell to 0-2 in league play, took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. But the home standing Ricebirds responded in the bottom of the second, when they scored six runs with two outs ¬ aided by four errors.
Freshman Hunter Chandler started the game on the mound for the Panthers, while junior Colby Allen provided relief.
“The pitchers did a good job,” said Heber Coach B.J. Greene. “That's just how it's been. We get good pitching and can't field the ball or we get bad pitching and play good in the field. We can't put it all together, not yet.”
Heber had a chance to claw back into the game in the top of the fourth, but left two stranded in scoring position and the Ricebirds added four more runs in the bottom half for a 10-1 lead.
Senior catcher Harley Hooten, who finished 1-for-3, delivered an RBI double for the Panthers in the top of the seventh, setting the final at 10-2.
Senior shortstop Paden Flippin (3-for-3) paced the Panthers with three singles, pushing his season batting average to .605 (23-for-38), while boosting his on-base percentage to .766, reaching base 36 times in 47 plate appearances.
Sophomore second baseman Chandler Jones (1-for-2) also had a base hit for the Panthers, who host Beebe on Thursday then travel to Newport next Monday for another 2-4A Conference game.