Heber Springs baseball continued its hot hitting on Tuesday, routing the Tuckerman Bulldogs 15-0 after five innings in a road make-up game.
Seven different Panthers produced RBIs as Heber Springs tallied ten hits on the day, including five that went for extra bases – all doubles.
Senior Arkansas State-signee Pierce Mitchum pitched a one-hitter in 4.2 innings, striking out four while giving up four walks. Mitchum limited Tuckerman's batters to a .077 average in the outing.
Junior Seth Jenkins came on in relief of Mitchum, walking one and picking off two baserunners to close out the win. Jenkins went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs, three runs, a walk, and a stolen base.
Sophomore Nicholas Chaney finished 2-for-3, driving in three runners on two doubles and a sacrifice fly. Senior pitcher Andrew Bradshaw added another pair of doubles while scoring three runs, walking twice, and swiping one base.
Heber Springs baseball is currently batting .393 as a team after 12 games, good for 48th in the country, according to the high school sports site MaxPreps.
Leading the charge for the Panthers is junior Jacob Blasingame, who ended Tuesday's contest 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs. Blasingame has produced at least three hits in four of Heber's last five games and is currently ranked 20th in the nation in individual batting average.
“Man, I hope so,” said Heber Springs head coach Jeff Bise, when asked if the Panthers' batting numbers so far this season are sustainable. “I mean, hitting is so much mental. If the kids can maintain their confidence, and I don't see why we shouldn't...we hit a lot of hickory nuts with one-inch bats. Those hickory nuts are small, and they've really got to focus to make contact with it.”
Bise said he picked up the exercise from his father, who would take him out during a hitting slump and toss him a handful of nuts.
“He was trying to get them by me, and I'd just be splintering the hickory nuts,” said Bise. “ I explain to the kids, if you can hit eight out of ten of these with a one-inch bat, surely you can take a BBCOR bat that has a bigger barrel and hit a bigger baseball. I don't see why they shouldn't have confidence.”
Heber Springs baseball (8-4) moved on to play the Riverview Raiders at home yesterday. The Panthers travel to Little Rock today for a meeting with Baptist Prep (5-9-1) at 5 p.m.