The Arkadelphia Badgers were able to take a pair of wins in the first day of the Central Arkansas Baseball Classic.
Despite rain pushing back their first game, the Arkadelphia Badgers were able to take back-to-back wins over Russellville and Benton Thursday night in the Central Arkansas Baseball Classic.
Arkadelphia 7, Russellville 6
The Badgers were set for a 2:30 p.m. start against the Cyclones, but the rain pushed back the start to 6:45 p.m.
The weather didn’t hamper the team’s performance though as they took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Kris Oliver singled, took second on an error and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Ty Kosters singled him home with two outs.
The Cyclones were able to tie the game in the bottom of the second inning, but the Badgers regained the lead in the top of the third.
Jahlon Mitchell was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and Oliver reached on an error.
Cutter Jester reached on a fielder’s choice that ousted Mitchell, but a passed ball put Oliver and Jester on the back side of the diamond.
A sacrifice fly by Jakahari Howell sent Oliver home, and a double by Kosters made it 3-1 as Jester crossed the plate.
The score remained unchanged until the top of the fourth as the Badgers picked up two more.
Jake Knight and Clay Wilson each reached on an error by the third baseman, advancing to second and third.
With one out, Oliver hit a hard grounder up the middle to send Knight home, and with two outs, Howell singled to centerfield to put Wilson across for the 5-1 lead.
Russellville scored one in the bottom of the inning to cut the Badgers’ lead to 5-2, where the score remained until the top of the seventh.
Jester singled to start the inning, and Howell hit a triple to right field to send Jester home.
Kosters and Austin White were both walked, and Alex Buckley was called in to run for White.
Howell was able to score on a double play that ousted Kosters and Buckley for a 7-2 lead.
The Cyclones were able to add four in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Badgers.
John Franklin Matros opened the game for the Badgers on the mound, pitching two innings. He gave up one unearned run off one hit and three walks while striking out two.
Jester picked up the win, pitching four and one-third innings. He gave up one unearned and three earned runs off seven hits and one walk while retiring three.
Kosters finished out the game on the mound, earning the save. He gave up an earned run off one hit and two walks with one strikeout.
Arkadelphia 5, Benton 3
The win pitted the Badgers against the Benton Panthers in the second round of the tournament.
The Badgers were again able to get on the scoreboard first, scoring one in the top of the second.
White was walked to start the inning, and Mitchell was called in to run for him.
Mitchell took second on a wild pitch, and with one out, Knight hit a single to put runners in the corners.
J. Brooks Burnham then reached on an error that allowed Mitchell to score for the 1-0 lead.
Benton tied it up in the bottom of the third, and the Panthers took the lead in the bottom of the fourth, 2-1.
Benton added one more in the bottom of the sixth for a 3-1 lead, putting the Badgers in a tough spot, needing at least two runs to tie it up.
Matros was hit by a pitch to start the seventh and took second on a passed ball before Howell was walked.
Kosters singled to load the bases before a double by White sent Matros and Howell around to tie the game.
Mitchell again came in to run for White, and a sacrifice fly by Jester sent Kosters home.
A single by Knight sent Mitchell home for the 5-3 lead.
The Badgers were then able to hold the Panthers scoreless to secure the win.
Brayden Bebee pitched all seven innings for the Badgers, giving up one earned and two unearned runs off four hits and three walks. He struck out two batters.
The Badgers were slated to face Lakeside at 10:30 a.m. in the third round of the tournament.