BROCKWELL — The Izard County Cougars met the West Side Eagles in the semifinals for the second time in three months. The Cougars and Eagles faced off on the hardwood in the 1A state semifinals back in March.
Saturday the took to the diamond to see who would go to state. The Cougars bested the Eagles 12-5 to earn a spot in the finals.
Both teams struggled in two areas, walks and runners left on base. They walked a combined 16 batters and left a combined 18 runners on base.
The Cougars played as the home team Saturday afternoon and jumped on the board quickly in the bottom of the first.
They loaded up the bases with no outs to bring Landon McBride to the plate. He punched a ball to the outfield with an 0-2 count. Chase Orf and Gunner Gleghorn scored on McBride’s single.
Gleghorn came in to pitch in the top of the fourth for the Cougars. He pitched four scoreless innings and only allowed one hit. Coby Everett hit a deep sacrifice fly that brought Noah Everett across the plate.
The Eagles’ bats came to life in the top half of the next inning. They loaded up the bases with two outs. Jared Cothren drew a walk to bring Asa Carr into to score.
The Cougars added two more runs in their half of the second. Gaven Stephens and Orf both drew walks. McBride reached base on an error that scored Stephens and Orf.
The Eagles had a big third inning and tied the game at five. Travis Gentry led off the inning with a single. Jacob Carlton followed up and reached safely on an error. Carr singled to load up the bases for the Eagles with no outs. After a couple of fielder’s choices, the Eagels scored two.
With two outs, Tanner Fife hit a single to score Carr and Nate Bittle and tie the game. These were the last runs the Eagles scored all game.
The Cougars broke the tie in the bottom of the fourth. Caleb Faulkner and Zach Simmons had a pair of hits that brought runners in to score.
Izard County scored the game’s final three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The Cougars will play the final baseball game of the season. They are set to travel to Benton and take on their conference rivals the Viola Longhorns in the 1A State championship game Saturday at 7 p.m.