Friday, March 16, 2012

SPORTS >> Bears get victories, nearly a no hitter

Leader sports editor

Sylvan Hills opened conference play with a doubleheader sweep over Crossett on Tuesday. The Bears beat the Eagles 3-2 and 5-0 to improve to 6-2 overall and start 2-0 in the 5A Southeast Conference.

Sylvan Hills pitcher Connor Eller came as close as possible to a no-hitter without getting one in game two. He had two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning when Crossett got a double to break up the no-hitter.

Eller also got the save in game one, facing just one batter.

Control became a problem for Sylvan Hills pitching in the seventh inning. Sylvan Hills relief pitching hit the first Crossett batter and walked the second. After a strikeout, another Eagle was hit, loading the bases with one out.

Connor Eller took the mound to face Crossett’s two-hole hitter, who had accounted for two of the Eagles’ four hits in the game.

Eller got the batter to hit comebacker two him and the Bears with 1-2-3 for the double play to end the game.

Crossett jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game one against starting pitcher Lance Hunter. The Bears scored two in the bottom of the second and never trailed again as Hunter cruised to the sixth inning.

Sylvan Hills added a run in the fifth inning to make it 3-1, but Crossett scored in the top of the sixth to make it a one-run game again.

The Bears will take part in the Central Arkansas Invitational next week. The tournament includes 16 teams and will be played in three locations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Sylvan Hills’ first-round game will be at 2:30 p.m. Thursday when it will take on the Fayetteville Bulldogs at Little Rock Christian Academy. Other sites for the tournament are Benton High School and Lamar Porter Field in Little Rock.