Heber Springs scored five runs in the top of the seventh to pull away from Newport 8-1 while picking up its first 2-4A Conference win of the season on Monday at George Kell Park in Newport.
Heber Springs scored five runs in the top of the seventh to pull away from Newport 8-1 while picking up its first 2-4A Conference win of the season on Monday at George Kell Park in Newport. “We were stuck with the two top dogs early on with Lonoke and Stuttgart and we struggled and booted it around a little bit. But we came out and played a little bit today against Newport which beat Stuttgart,” said Panther Coach B.J. Greene. “Pitching was really good. Hunter Chandler started the game as a freshman and he has been good all year. Then Colby Allen came in and did what we wanted him to do. He kept them off-balance and mixed it up.” Heber claimed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Newport would even the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second. Still knotted at 1-all entering the fourth frame, the Panthers (1-2 in 2-4A) regained the lead with two runs on one hit. After Judson Smith reached safely on a one-out walk, Allen singled, advancing Smith to third. Brooks Morgan followed with a fly-ball to left field that was misplayed, allowing Smith and Allen to score as the Panthers took a 3-1 advantage. Chandler, who limited the Greyhounds to one run on five hits while striking out five in four innings, started the fifth inning but quickly ran into trouble when Newport led off with a double. Allen relieved Chandler and promptly slammed the door, carving up Newport with four strikeouts and no hits in three innings of work. Leading 3-1 entering the top of the seventh, the Panthers broke the game wide open with four runs on three hits, starting when Harley Hooten alertly reached safely on a dropped third strike. Paden Flippin followed with a walk, which set up Michael Kramer's two-run double that scored courtesy runner Chandler Marquardt and pinch-runner Tyler Dennis. Smith added an RBI single that scored Kramer and Morgan drove home Smith with a groundout. Chandler Jones then provided some instant offense as he singled up the middle, stole second and moved to third on an errant throw. Jones scored moments later on a passed ball, setting the final at 8-1. Kramer (2-for-4) led the Panthers with two hits and two RBI, while Smith (2-for-3) followed with two hits and one RBI. Flippin (1-for-3), Hooten (1-for-3), Allen (1-for-4) and Jones (1-for-2) each had one base hit for Heber and Morgan contributed an RBI. “It was definitely a good win for our kids,” said Greene. “Hopefully they will see they are there and will turn the page and keep this going the rest of the year. We have a good mix of seniors and young players that are pretty good. Things could look up for us real quick.” The Panthers were originally scheduled to visit Cave City today, but will travel to Riverview in Searcy instead. Opening pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.