Senior Andrew Bradshaw pitched a complete-game shutout to lift the Heber Springs Panthers (15-5) to a 6-0 conference win over Central Arkansas Christian (12-5) on Friday at home.
Bradshaw allowed just two hits over seven innings, fanning five Mustangs in the process. The Panthers' senior ace allowed zero walks but hit three batters with pitches. The loss marks the first time the Mustangs have been the victims of a shutout this season.
In his last three outings, Bradshaw is undefeated, giving up zero earned runs and three total hits.
“Andrew Bradshaw in his past three starts has come out with a chip on his shoulder,” said Heber Springs head coach Jeff Bise. “He's been the guy that I've been looking for the past two years that I knew was there but now he's pitching like he's got something to prove to everybody.”
“He did a phenomenal job against CAC tonight. It's a very well-coached team, a very good-hitting team, and we played some defense behind him tonight. They put some balls into play.”
Heber Springs gave Bradshaw some early run support, jumping out to a 4-0 lead at the end of the first inning.
Batting in the three hole, senior Arkansas State pledge Pierce Mitchum roped a double to advance junior Jacob Blasingame to third base, and Seth Jenkins brought the pair home with a two-RBI single to the gap in the left-center.
Junior Jacob Bremmon looped an RBI double down the third-base line, and Brandon Loethen followed up with an RBI single before the Mustangs pulled starting pitcher Justin Bates in favor of Hunter Corbell.
Corbell was able to pitch CAC out of the inning, but the Mustangs continued to struggle at the plate against Bradshaw,
After leadoff hitter Carter Kelley stole second in the bottom of the third inning, Blasingame brought the senior across the plate, cracking an RBI double to left field for a 5-0 lead.
Bradshaw would go on to score himself on a wild pitch for the game's final run, 6-0.
Jenkins finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Blasingame ended 3-for-4 with an RBI, Mitchum was 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Bremmon added a 3-for-3, RBI performance. Bremmon, Blasingame, and Mitchum each doubled.
After an 10-0 thrashing of Newport on Monday, Heber Springs baseball has won six straight and eight of its last nine.
“I never in my life want to sound arrogant, but I feel like from top-to-bottom, the way we swing the bat, if we come out and play defense and throw strikes, I feel like we can compete with anybody in the state,” said Bise. “It was a quality win today. It's the first one we've had this year in my opinion. CAC's a good ball club.”
Heber Springs 18, Rose Bud 6
The Panthers tallied 24 total hits against the Ramblers in the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday in Rose Bud.
Mitchum went yard for the fourth-straight game, sending a two-run shot over the center-field fence in the bottom of the third inning. The senior also struck out nine batters over five innings, giving up five hits and four earned runs while adding a highlight-reel worthy, over-the-shoulder catch on a deep, dangerous ball to center field in game two.
Mitchum's homer scored Kelley in the top of the third inning, then Jenkins brought home Bradshaw with a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead.
Rose Bud tied it up in the bottom of the inning with an RBI from senior Bradley Chalk and a two-RBI single from senior Sean Blacksmith. Chalk would score himself on an error for a 4-3 Rose Bud lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, sophomore Nicholas Chaney scored on an error at third base, then Kelley hit a single to drive home senior Sam Lee, called safe on a slide at the plate. Mitchum and Bradshaw each added RBIs for a 7-4 lead, then Bremmon drove home the duo with a single.
The Panthers erupted for nine more runs in the top of the sixth inning. Loethen drove in two on a Rose Bud error in center field, Chaney batted in a run, and pinch runner Steele Spicer scored on a wild pitch.
At the top of the order, Kelley hit an RBI single, Mitchum added a two-RBI double on a grounder down the third base line, and Jenkins and Bremmon each drove in another run.
In the bottom of the inning, senior Clayton Cox, pitching in relief of Mitchum, struck out three consecutive batters to close out the win.
Three Panthers finished 4-for-5 on the night: Mitchum (5 RBIs), Bremmon (3 RBIs) and Kelley (2 RBIs). Jenkins added another pair of RBIs on 2-for-3 batting with a sac fly, while Chaney and Bradshaw finished 3 for 4.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Heber Springs beat Rose Bud 17-1 as the Ramblers struggled to manage its arms.
Jenkins struck out ten Ramblers while going 3-for-3 at the plate in the second game of the night.