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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Eagles clip Concord, earn share of title

  • West Side held off rival Concord 5-3 to earn a share of the 1A-2 South Conference title on Monday in Greers Ferry. The Eagles, who beat Abundant Life 8-6 in a non-conference game on Tuesday, extended their winning-streak to seven straight.
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  • West Side held off rival Concord 5-3 to earn a share of the 1A-2 South Conference title on Monday in Greers Ferry. The Eagles, who beat Abundant Life 8-6 in a non-conference game on Tuesday, extended their winning-streak to seven straight.
    “Good to get this win against a much improved Concord team,” said West Side Coach Shane Davis. “We were very fortunate today. They definitely outplayed us and it was a typical Monday for us. Hayden [Gilmore] came in and really bailed us out going 3 2/3 innings on two days rest. We just hung on for dear life today, but got a share of the conference title. We have to play better going forward if we are going to make state.”
    Facing West Side pitcher Bryce Hipp, the Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Jacob Roark led off with a double to deep left field and scored on Luke Cornett’s RBI sacrifice-fly.
    T.J. Richardson looped a two-out double down the right field line, but Hipp responded with a strikeout to end the top half.
    The Eagles countered with two runs on two hits in the bottom of the first. Bryce Hipp walked, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error, setting the stage for Blaine “Pepper” Hipp’s RBI infield single.
    Pepper motored around from first base on a botched pickoff attempt as the Eagles took a 2-1 lead and looked poised for more after Mason Treece reached on an error and Ben Hargrove singled up the middle.
    But Cornett, Concord’s pitcher, picked off a runner and Dalton Treece’s line drive to center field turned into a double play, suddenly ending the threat.
    Hipp struck out three in the top of the second while working around a one-out single off the bat of Riley Brock.
    Cornett pitched around Brandon Carr’s one-out stand-up double pulled into the left field corner and two-out walk issued to David Brown in the bottom of the second.
    With two outs in the top of the third, Jacob Webb lined a single to right field and stole second but the Eagles escaped when Hargrove took care of Richardson’s grounder to third base.
    West Side added two runs on two hits in the bottom half of the third, starting when Pepper drilled a triple to deep right field. Mason Treece drove home Pepper with an RBI sacrifice-fly to right field then Hargrove smashed a triple to the alley in deep left center.
    Dalton Treece drove home Hargrove with a ground ball to the right side that turned into an error but Cornett escaped further trouble by inducing a groundout and recording a strikeout.
    Page 2 of 3 - Hipp struck out the side in the top of the fourth and Cornett worked around walks issued to Kory Johnson and Pepper in the bottom half.
    In the top half of the fifth, the Pirates plated two runs on one hit as Colton Billington drew a one-out walk and moved into scoring position on Roark’s single through the hole on left side.
    Billington and Roark moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and Cornett walked to load the bases, causing West Side to relieve Hipp with Gilmore.
    With the count full, Webb lifted an RBI sacrifice-fly to right field that scored Billington and Roark also sped around to score once the relay throw skipped away near the first base dugout.
    West Side preserved its 4-3 lead when Gilmore induced a sharp groundout to Carr at first base, retiring Richardson and leaving Cornett stranded at third.
    The Eagles regained some breathing room in the bottom of the fifth, scoring one run on two hits. Dalton Treece sparked West Side with a one-out single pulled through the hole on left side.
    Gilmore then roped an RBI double to deep left center, scoring Dalton Treece as West Side extended its lead to 5-3 before Cornett retired two straight, including one by strikeout.
    Gilmore struck out three in the top half of the sixth, only allowing Ethan Hebert to reach on a one-out walk. Cornett sat the Eagles down in order in the bottom half while chalking up two strikeouts.
    Trailing 5-3 in the top of the seventh, the Pirates battled to the end as Billington worked a full-count walk before Gilmore retired two straight, including one by strikeout.
    Webb kept Concord alive with a single over first base that dropped in shallow right field. With runners at first and second, Gilmore recorded a strikeout to end the game.
    Roark (2 for 4 with two runs) and Webb (2 for 3 with an RBI) paced the Pirates (3-6, 3-5) with two hits apiece.
    Pepper (2 for 4 with two runs), Hargrove (2 for 4 with one run) and Dalton Treece (2 for 3 with an RBI) each had two hits for West Side (14-1, 9-1), which is taking five days off for a senior trip before hosting Academics Plus for a doubleheader on senior day Monday in Greers Ferry.
    West Side vs. Abundant Life
    The Eagles improved to 15-1 overall with an 8-6 win over the Owls on Tuesday in Greers Ferry as brothers Bryce and Blaine “Pepper” Hipp combined for five hits, five RBI and four runs.
    Abundant Life had runners at first and second with two outs and a full-count on the batter when West Side pitcher Dalton Treece picked off a runner at second to end the game. Making his third career starting, Treece scattered seven hits while striking out six and issuing two walks.
    Page 3 of 3 - “Quality win against a 2A team winning their conference,” said West Side Coach Shane Davis. “Dalton had great command of the strike zone today and kept his composure when our defense let him down, which was an area of concern for us coming in with him being a sophomore and putting so much pressure on his self.
    “Situational hitting was outstanding. We did a great job of getting on, getting over and executed four straight times with a runner on third and less than two outs. Dalton executed an inside pickoff move to end the game with the tying run on first,” added Davis.
    Bryce Hipp finished 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBI, Pepper was 2 for 4 with two runs and three RBI and Ben Hargrove (2 for 3) collected two hits for West Side. David Brown (1 for 3) added two runs and an RBI.

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