Heber Springs right-handed pitchers Andrew Bradshaw, Chase Vines and Shayne Kimble combined for a shutout and the Post 64 Panthers produced timely hitting ¬ scoring six runs on six hits ¬ while blanking Lonoke's Remington Bullets 6-0 on Thursday in the American Legion opener for both clubs at Panther Field.
Heber Springs right-handed pitchers Andrew Bradshaw, Chase Vines and Shayne Kimble combined for a shutout and the Post 64 Panthers produced timely hitting ¬ scoring six runs on six hits ¬ while blanking Lonoke’s Remington Bullets 6-0 on Thursday in the American Legion opener for both clubs at Panther Field.
Bradshaw was nearly flawless through the first two innings, striking out three and only allowing two base runners, pitching around a two-out walk in the first and one-out single in the second.
Vines, who took over in the third, cruised through his first three frames then pitched out of trouble in the sixth. Vines struck out two and walked one while scattering six hits in 4 1/3 before giving way to shortstop Shayne Kimble, who recorded the final two outs, including one strikeout.
“Pitching was really good,” said Heber Coach B.J. Greene. “Bradshaw started out we only had him on 30 pitches and he hit that in two innings so that’s perfect. Brought in Vines and ole’ buzz saw struck again. I can’t say enough about that kid. He just gets up there and throws and gets outs. He is a great high school pitcher for us. And then Shayne Kimble came in and closed it out. We just went speed, off speed and then speed again,” added Greene.
Facing Lonoke starter Zack Dale, the Panthers scored three runs on two hits, one error and three costly walks, quickly chasing Lonoke’s right-handed hurler. With two outs, Chandler Marquardt sparked Post 64, looping a single down the right field line.
After Conner Lindsey reached on an error, Jacob Bremmon lined a run-scoring single through the hole on right side, plating Marquardt. Kimble walked to load the bases for Bradshaw, who drew an RBI walk that scored Lindsey.
Slade Welch worked another RBI walk that brought home Bremmon as the Panthers took a 3-0 lead, forcing the Bullets to relieve Dale with Nick Watson, who induced a groundout to stop the threat.
Post 64 added an insurance run in the fourth as Logan Magness roped a stand-up triple to deep center field and scored on Marquardt’s well placed dribbler down the first base line.
Still leading 4-0 heading into the top of the sixth, Vines escaped unharmed despite allowing four hits. Pinch-hitter Elijah Siegrest reached on a one-out single and swiped second, but was picked off on a smooth pickoff move by Vines.
Pinch-hitter Chance Parish beat out an infield single then Cody Kee singled to center to reignite the Bullets. With runners at first and second, Lonoke’s Pierce Johnson laced a potential run-scoring single to center field, where Pierce Mitchum came up throwing to Kimble, who relayed to catcher Sam Lee in time to tag out Parish as the Panthers perfected a relay play to keep the Bullets scoreless.
In the bottom of the sixth, Heber manufactured two more runs on two hits, starting when Kimble drew a leadoff walk. Vines’ sacrifice-bunt pushed Kimble into scoring position for Welch, who drilled a run-scoring single through the hole on right side.
Dawson Melrose followed with a sacrifice-bunt that advanced Welch into scoring position for Mitchum, who slammed a run-scoring triple to the alley in deep right center, giving the Panthers a 6-0 lead.
Kimble relieved Vines with one on and one down in the top half of the seventh and used a wicked curveball to catch Lonoke’s leadoff batter looking. Christian James was hit by a pitch, briefly keeping the Bullets’ hopes alive until Zack Risner lined out to right field.
Welch (1 for 2) drove home a team high two runs, while Bremmon (1 for 3) and Marquardt (1 for 3) each drove home a run and scored a run.
Bradshaw (0 for 1) and Mitchum (1 for 4) also drove home a run, while Magness (1 for 3), Lindsey (0 for 3) and Kimble (0 for 1 with two walks) each scored a run.
“The hitting early was good and then at the end there late it was good,” said Greene. “Proud of Jacob Bremmon, an eighth-grader who started at third base and drove home the first run of the game. He hit the ball all three times.
“In that last inning we got a guy on, bunted him over and scored him. Got a guy on bunted him over and scored him and that’s baseball. Small ball getting it done and if we are going to win in the future that’s what we’ve got to do,” Greene concluded.
Post 64 (1-0) hosts Sylvan Hills on Thursday. The Junior game begins at 6 p.m.