Heber Springs rallied from a 6-0 deficit to eliminate Pine Bluff Dollarway 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning as catcher Tyler Moss delivered a dramatic two-run walk-off double with two outs on Thursday in the opening round of the 2-4A District Tournament.

Heber Springs rallied from a 6-0 deficit to eliminate Pine Bluff Dollarway 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning as catcher Tyler Moss delivered a dramatic two-run walk-off double with two outs on Thursday in the opening round of the 2-4A District Tournament.

With a spot in the regional tournament at stake, the sixth-seeded Panthers rallied with two runs in the top of the seventh to forge a tie with third-seeded Newport, which turned around in the bottom half and eliminated Heber when Tyler Asher drilled a one-out game-winning double that scored Steven Cordell, who reached on an error.’

Heber 7, Dollarway 6
Only six days ago the Panthers crushed the Cardinals 11-3, pulling away after the third inning. But Dollarway, which entered the game with a record of 0-15, came to play on Thursday and nearly pulled off the upset.

Dollarway scored one run in the top half of the first inning and five more in the second to build a 6-0 cushion before Heber chipped away with a four-run third inning highlighted by Conner Lindsey’s three RBI triple, which he walloped down the right field line off the chalk and into the corner.

Chase Vines, who took the mound in relief in the top half of the fourth, held the Cardinals scoreless through the final four frames, setting up Moss’ game-winning double.

Heber loaded the bases with one out on three walks and had its hottest hitter at the plate – Lindsey, who sent a sharp ground ball to AJ Alford at shortstop. The left-handed Alford cut down speedy leadoff hitter Pierce Mitchum at the plate, leaving the heroics up to Moss.

Moss pulled the game-winning double down the left field line as Dollarway’s left fielder had trouble getting a beat on the ball due to a glaring sun. Marquardt and Kramer scored easily and the Panthers mobbed Moss near second base.

“Right now on our team if we get the bases loaded and you ask me who I want up it’s Conner Lindsey,” said Greene. “He is swinging the hottest bat we’ve got then Tyler Moss comes up and Q [Marquardt] and I are sitting over there talking about what we can do to sneak in a run and whether we could do it or not.

“Tyler Moss, it could have been his last at-bat of his career, but he stepped up and hit a huge two RBI game-winning double. He will remember that for the rest of his life. You can’t ask for anything better as a senior.”

Dollarway right-hander John Reed went the distance, striking out eight and scattering six hits but ran into trouble by issuing a total of six walks and one hit batsman. Reed allowed three free passes in the Panthers’ four-run third and three more in the seventh.

Andrew Bradshaw started on the mound for Heber, but was quickly pulled for Hunter Chandler, who found a rhythm in the third when he struck out the side. Needing two wins to advance to regionals, Heber saved Chandler’s arm and the decision worked to perfection with Vines toeing the rubber.

“He has done that for us all year,” said Heber Coach B.J. Greene of Vines. “He doesn’t throw real hard. People laugh at him and they got a little buzz saw going for him over there in the dugout. He has walked six or seven guys all year. I can’t say enough about that kid. If you look at him you don’t think pitcher or athlete but he gets up there and throws strikes.”

Moss paced Heber’s offensive attack, finishing 2 for 4 with two RBI. Tyler Dennis (1 for 3 with an RBI and run scored), Marquardt (1 for 2 with a double and two runs), Lindsey (1 for 4 with three RBI) and Kimble (1 for 3 with a run) each contributed a hit for Heber. Michael Kramer (0 for 2) walked twice and scored two runs for the Panthers, who improved to 11-14 entering the district quarterfinal round.

Alford paced Dollarway, finishing 2 for 4 with two runs and an RBI. Keshun Cross (2 for 3 with an RBI) and Reed (2 for 3 with a run and RBI) each had two hits for the Cardinals and Henri Murphy (1 for 3) added an RBI triple.

Newport 6, Heber 5
The Greyhounds, who defeated Heber 9-3 earlier in the season, found themselves in a feline fight against the Panthers with a spot in the 4A East Regional Tournament on the line.

Heber led 2-0 after two innings before the Greyhounds battled back and tied the game at 2-2 heading into the fifth. Conner Lindsey’s RBI single gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead in the top half of the sixth, but the Greyhounds countered with three runs in the bottom half, taking a 5-3 lead to the seventh inning.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Tyler Dennis and Chandler Marquardt each worked run-scoring walks, but Newport escaped with the game tied and won in the bottom half as Steven Cordell reached by error and moved to second on a single by Hayden Schulz.

Hunter Chandler retired William Willis on a line drive to Marquardt in left field, but the Greyhounds walked off a winner when Tyler Asher belted an RBI double to deep left center.

Pierce Mitchum and Lindsey paced Heber’s offensive attack. Lindsey (2 for 3 with an RBI and run) and Mitchum  (2 for 3 with a double and run scored) each collected two hits, while Dennis (1 for 2 with RBI and run) and Shayne Kimble (1 for 2 with RBI) each had a base knock.

Michael Kramer got the start on the mound and tossed 5 1/3, limiting Newport to four runs while striking out four. “Michael Kramer threw a great game,” said Greene. “He was the guy we wanted on the mound in that situation and he delivered really, really well. Hunter Chandler went in and threw really well too.

“Their pitcher threw a really good game too and the ball just didn’t fall for us there at the end but that’s part of it. I am very proud of our kids. Those seniors (Kramer, Dennis and Tyler Moss) are going to leave a legacy for us. They turned our program in the right direction. It’s the first time in two or three years that we have been in double digit wins and I think that’s a testament to the seniors and it will get better for us. We’ve got to strive to get back to the regional tournament. We are going to work our butts off in the summer to get things right. We are going to get it back to where people know Heber Springs baseball,” Greene concluded.