Pangburn, which entered the Zone 3 American Legion (AA) Tournament in Heber Springs as the No. 2 seed, fell victim to the No. 7 seed North Little Rock Colts on Friday before bouncing back with wins over No. 8 seed Morrilton on Saturday and No. 6 seed Pocahontas on Sunday to stay alive in the losers' bracket.
NLR Colts 5, Pangburn 2
North Little Rock pitchers Ty Houser and Trey Kimball only allowed 5 hits and the No. 7 seeded Colts took advantage of 5 costly errors to defeat Pangburn 5-2 in the first round of the Zone 3 Tournament at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.
Skylar Litaker, a left-handed standout from Midland, suffered a tough luck loss for Pangburn while scattering 5 hits and striking out 6 in seven innings. Using patience at the plate, North Little Rock worked 5 walks, two of which turned into runs.
The Colts, who improved to 16-6 overall but entered tournament play as the No. 7 seed due to missing a mandatory meeting, scored 1 run without a hit in the top of the first inning as leadoff hitter Danny Mitchell drew a walk, stole second and scored when Lawson Dulin's two-out line drive was misplayed in right field.
Litaker shut down the Colts in the second, third and fourth frames, but North Little Rock added an insurance run in the fifth when Mitchell singled to center and stole his way around to third, causing a throwing error that allowed the speedy leadoff hitter to score easily. With runners at the corners, Litaker used a strikeout to avoid further trouble.
Pangburn responded with 2 runs on 3 hits in the bottom half of the fifth, beginning when Dalton Passmore of Midland beat out an infield single and swiped second.
With two down, Caleb Spears of Harding Academy kept Pangburn's inning alive with an infield single on a chopper to the left side, bringing Chase Hopkins of Pangburn High School to the dish.
Hopkins delivered a clutch two-out, 2 RBI single to right center, scoring Passmore and Spears as Pangburn tied the game at 2-all before Houser escaped on a grounder back to the mound, stranding Hopkins at second.
North Little Rock countered with 3 runs on2 hits in the top of the sixth as Kolton Gardner walked and scored before Houser and River Warnack each singled and scored with the help of two critical errors.
Leading 5-2, the Colts relieved Houser with Kimball, who slammed the door by retiring the side in order in the sixth and only allowing Passmore to reach by walk in the seventh.
Spears paced Pangburn, finishing 2-for-2 with 1 run scored. Dulin (2-for-4) paced North Little Rock with two hits but Mitchell (1-for-2) made the biggest difference offensively, reaching base three times while scoring a game-high 2 runs.
Pangburn 5, Morrilton 2
Pangburn rode ace pitcher JR Miller of Harding Academy to a 5-2 win over Morrilton on Saturday in an elimination game. Miller struck out 7 while and only allowing 2 hits and an uncharacteristic 6 free passes – 1 hit batsman and 5 walks in six innings of work.
Page 2 of 3 - Morrilton right-handed pitcher Luke Zimmerman stifled Pangburn through four innings before Pangburn busted a scoreless game open with 5 runs on 4 hits in the bottom half of the fifth inning.
Catcher Alec Bourgeois of Pangburn High School ignited Pangburn with a single through the hole on left side, then Searcy High School's Colby Crossen pulled a single to left field.
Hopkins followed with a bunt single, which scored Bourgeois once Morrilton committed a throwing error. Sidney Owens of Riverview High School followed with an RBI single over shortstop, plating Crossen for a 2-0 lead.
With two runners in scoring position, Skylar Litaker of Midland drove home Hopkins with an RBI groundout to shortstop, then Miller helped his cause with a perfectly executed squeeze bunt that scored Owens.
After Hunter Poe of Pangburn High School walked and Dalton Passmore of Midland reached on an error, Poe scored on a wild pitch as Pangburn extended its lead to 5-0 before Zimmerman got out of Morrilton's dreadful fifth with a strikeout.
Miller pitched around a single, walk and error in the top half of the sixth, leaving the bases loaded.
Morrilton relief pitcher Hunter Lentz worked around a leadoff single by Bourgeois in the bottom half of the sixth and Pangburn escaped in the seventh with Crossen in relief of Miller, who tossed six scoreless innings.
Crossen ran into trouble in the seventh when Jake Wilson and Bubba Stidham strung together consecutive singles with nobody out, but Crossen fired back with a strikeout.
Jace Hill sliced a 2 RBI double down the right field line that scored Wilson and Stidham as Morrilton pulled within three at 5-2 before Crossen induced two straight groundouts to end the game.
Bourgeois led Pangburn, which improved to 21-7 overall, finishing 3-for-3 with 1 run scored. Crossen, Hopkins and Owens each added 1 hit and 1 run for Pangburn. Owens and Litaker each contributed 1 RBI, while Poe added 1 run scored.
Wilson paced Morrilton, going 3-for-4 with 1 run scored, while Hill (2-for-4) drove home both runs for Morrilton.
Pangburn 15, Pocahontas 0
Pangburn pounded the Pocahontas Cyclones 15-0 on Sunday as Riverview's Sidney Owens led the way with 4 hits, 3 RBI and 3 runs scored. Owens also pitched for Pangburn, limiting the Cyclones to only 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 7 in seven innings on the hill.
Colby Crossen reached on an error and scored on an RBI single by Owens in the top half of the first and Pangburn added another run in the third when Chase Hopkins walked, stole second and scored on an error.
Pangburn (22-7) tacked on two more runs in the fourth as Hunter Bell of Rose Bud High School and Alec Bourgeois of Pangburn High School each singled and scored.
Owens singled and Skylar Litaker walked to start the fifth and Pangburn produced two more runs when Hunter Poe drilled a 2 RBI single to left field for a 6-0 lead.
Page 3 of 3 - Hopkins was hit-by-a-pitch in the sixth and stole his way around to third, setting up Owens' RBI single. Midland's Dalton Passmore's added an RBI single to right field, plating Owens as Pangburn pushed its lead to 8-0 before Pocahontas escaped further damage.
Already leading 8-0 entering the top of the seventh, Pangburn poured it on, scoring 7 runs on 6 hits, starting when Bell slammed a leadoff triple to deep right field. Bourgeois then nailed an RBI single back up the middle, pushing Pangburn's lead to 9-0.
After Crossen reached on an error, Owens delivered a one-out, 2 RBI single through the hole on left side, scoring Bourgeios and Crossen for an 11-0 lead.
Litaker kept the onslaught going with a single to left field and Passmore walked, which set up an RBI walk by Poe, bringing home Owens. Brett Caples of Rose Bud High School then laced an RBI single to left field that scored Litaker and forced Pocahontas to change pitchers for the fourth time in the game, which actually started on Saturday evening before rain forced the game to resume on Sunday.
Bell drew an RBI walk that scored Passmore and with two out, Crossen capped Pangburn's 7-run inning with an RBI single through the hole on left side.
Owens fanned 2 in the bottom half of the seventh while working around 2 walks as Pangburn advanced to play Clarksville's River Valley Tropics in another elimination game scheduled for Tuesday. The Tropics feature players from Clarksville, Dover, Booneville, Subiaco Academy, Russellville and Danville.
Following Owens' 4-hit, 3 runs and 4 RBI performance, Bourgeois (2-for-4) added 2 hits, 2 runs and 2 RBI, while Bell (2-for-3) had 2 hits and 2 runs. Crossen, Hopkins and Litaker each scored 2 runs for Pangburn, which improved to 22-7 for the season.