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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Lindsey leads Panthers in rout of Searcy

  • Post 64 first baseman Conner Lindsey drove home four runs and scored three more as the Panthers rolled past Searcy 13-3 in the opening round of the Junior Zone 3 American Legion Tournament on Saturday at Panther Field.
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  • Post 64 first baseman Conner Lindsey drove home four runs and scored three more as the Panthers rolled past Searcy 13-3 in the opening round of the Junior Zone 3 American Legion Tournament on Saturday at Panther Field.
    Leadoff batter Pierce Mitchum set the table, finishing 3 for 4 with three runs and Jacob Bremmon (3 for 5) also contributed three hits while scoring two runs for the sixth-seeded Panthers, who pounded out a season-high 17 hits.
    Welch (2 for 3) had an RBI and two runs and Chandler Jones (2 for 4) added two hits for Heber.
    Dillion Moore picked up the win on the hill, striking out three and limiting the Silverbacks to only two hits before running out of gas in the sixth when he walked three straight, forcing the Panthers to bring in Welch, who recorded the final five outs.
    Heber Coach B.J. Greene and the regular high school staff couldn’t guide the team due to the AAA’s mandated 10-day dead period, giving assistant coach Tyler Reese a chance to make his head coaching debut.
    “We came out and had a good approach at the plate today,” said Reese. “We knew what we had to do. We had some big time hits by some big time players. Conner Lindsey, Jacob Bremmon, Chandler Jones, Slade Welch and Pierce Mitchum all did a great job at the plate and they were all aggressive on the bases and that helped us out a lot.”
    Moore quelled any hopes of a comeback by the Silverbacks, who entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed. “We had a great performance by Dillion Moore on the mound. He came out and threw strikes for us and that was huge. He limited them on the bases. It was a great game by him,” added Reese.
    Batting in the three-hole Lindsey drove home Mitchum, who opened the game with a double, in the first frame. Lindsey then sparked a four-run third inning with a leadoff double pulled over third base and down the left field line.
    Lindsey scorched a run-scoring single through the hole on right side in the sixth and he capped his magnificent performance with a two-run triple hammered to the alley in deep left center in the seventh.
    “Conner did great,” said Reese. “He knew what he wanted to do before he went up there. He understood that he needed to go up there relaxed and move runners and he came through in the clutch with some big-time hits for us.”
    Post 64 scored one run in each of the first two innings, four more in the third and busted the game wide open with four runs in the fifth. The Panthers added three more in the seventh.
    Page 2 of 2 - Consecutive RBI singles by Bremmon, Welch, shortstop Shayne Kimble and designated-hitter Brandon Loethen pushed Heber’s lead to 6-0 heading into the bottom half of the third.
    Searcy scored two runs in the bottom of the third, highlighted by Josh Ivey’s run-scoring double sliced down the right field line. Ivey and his brother Mickey Ivey, both of Pangburn, each drove home a run in the third to cut Heber’s lead to four.
    The Panthers plated four runs on four singles in the sixth as Mitchum, Jones and Lindsey strung together three straight hits to open the top half, then Bremmon singled and scored and Welch walked and scored.
    Moore, who singled and scored in the second, reached on a fielder’s choice and scored again in the seventh on Lindsey’s two-run triple, which also plated Mitchum, who dropped a single into left field.
    With two outs in the seventh, left fielder Jacob Blasingame ripped a two-out single to center field that brought home Lindsey as Post 64 pushed its lead to 13-3 and held on behind Welch, who retired the Silverbacks in order to complete the Panther victory.
    Reese, a Heber graduate who served as an assistant at Dover High School this spring while taking a step closer to his college degree at Arkansas Tech, said he enjoyed the opportunity of stepping in as head coach.
    “It was great. It’s a great experience. I love coming out here and working with the guys and I am thankful they let me come out here and work with them. I look forward to getting the opportunity to do it on my own one day.”

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