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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Cossatot River strands West Side

  • The Cossatot River is know for its wild rapids that can cause rafters to get stranded miles from their destination. West Side was the one stranded on Thursday as the Eagles left a total of 13 runners on base in a 5-3 loss to Cossatot River in the opening round of the 1A state tournament at Cooper Park.
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  • The Cossatot River is know for its wild rapids that can cause rafters to get stranded miles from their destination. West Side was the one stranded on Thursday as the Eagles left a total of 13 runners on base in a 5-3 loss to Cossatot River in the opening round of the 1A state tournament at Cooper Park.
    “We just couldn't get that timely hit tonight,” said West Side Coach Shane Davis. “I thought we were a little ripe being all of these guys first time in a state baseball tournement. We had a few early miscues that put us in a hole, which we never could dig out of.
    “Proud of my guys these seven seniors Bryce [Hipp], Ben [Hargrove, David [Brown], Casey [Hooten], Kory [Johnson], Dipper [Andrew Houston], and Tyler [Inman] won 30 games over the last two years and they really helped lay a solid foundation for the future,” added Davis.
    Cossatot River right-handed starting pitcher Jordan Strother pitched out of trouble on numerous occasions while going the distance. He scattered five hits, struck out six and worked around seven walks and two hit batsmen.
    Cossatot River took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Jacob Pritchett legged out an infield single and scored with one out after initially being hung up between third and home.
    Pritchett used a hook slide to avoid catcher David Brown’s tag at home plate and Cossatot River scored again with two outs when Konner McKee reached on an error that allowed Strother’s courtesy runner to score.
    West Side, which finished its season with a record of 19-4, left the bases loaded in the bottom half of the first as Strother worked out of the jam with a groundout and strikeout.
    Bryce Hipp retired Cossatot in order in the second, but the Eagles failed to scored despite placing runners at first and second with one out in the bottom half.
    Hipp returned the favor in the third, pitching out of trouble by striking out two straight as Cossatot left runners at first and second.
    Strothers once again stranded two runners at first and second in the bottom half of the third, closing the frame with consecutive strikeouts.
    In the top half of the fourth, Cossatot scored two runs on three hits, starting when Quentin Meredith beat out an infield single. Josh Jordan added a one-out single up the middle, which set the stage for Cody Chandler’s run-scoring single to right field.
    Brody Smith, who reached on a fielder’s choice, scored on the Chandler’s base hit and Jordan also came around to score once the throw to the plate skipped to the backstop.
    Page 2 of 2 - Down 4-0 entering the sixth, West Side used a two-out rally to close the gap in half. After Bryce Hipp and Blaine “Pepper” Hipp worked a pair of full-count walks, Mason Treece line a run-scoring single back up the middle.
    Hargrove followed with a high pop-up that was misplayed, allowing Pepper to score as the Eagles pulled within two at 4-2 before Strothers induced a groundout, leaving two more stranded.
    Facing West Side relief pitcher Hayden Gilmore, who relieved Hipp to start the seventh, Cassatot added one more run as Pritchett roped a leadoff triple to the alley in right center and scored on Alex Driver’s RBI single to left field.
    With Driver at first base, Gilmore fanned two consecutive batters, leaving West Side’s deficit at 5-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
    Down to its final three outs, the Eagles made it interesting. With one out, Brandon Carr took one for the team and Casey Hooten walked. Strothers retired the next batter as Cossatot pulled within one out of victory before Bryce Hipp drilled an RBI single that ricocheted off Strothers, who was down for a few minutes in pain before returning to the mound.
    With West Side trailing 5-3 and runners at first and second, Hooten was cut down trying to steal third base by Pritchett, who turned in a marvelous job at catcher ¬ blocking several pitches in the dirt to save bases and help Strothers strand runners.
    Bryce Hipp, who finished with an overall pitching record of 8-2 this season, recorded seven strikeouts in six innings. He also had two hits, finishing 2 for 4 with a run and RBI. Mason Treece (2 for 3 with RBI) also collected two hits for West Side, while Pepper was 1 for 3 with a run.

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