Tuesday, March 11, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Red Devil Classic gets underway

Leader sports editor

It started five days late, but the Red Devil Classic baseball tournament finally got underway on Saturday at Dupree Park. It featured four competitive games, including two that went into extra innings.

The Beebe Badgers opened the tournament by beating host team Jacksonville 7-4. Beebe got seven hits to Jacksonville’s six, and both teams committed two errors and left eight on base. Free bases made the difference in the game.

Jacksonville pitchers hit six Beebe batters, including four with counts of zero balls and two strikes.

“They’d make us look silly and then come in tight,” said Beebe coach Mark Crafton. “They’d either nick us or hit us square in the back. We were able to take advantage of those mistakes. You’re going to see that kind of thing this early.”

Jacksonville took an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, but the Badgers answered with three in the top of the third, and took the lead in the fourth. They added three more in the fifth before Jacksonville set the final margin with one run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Justin Browning got the win on the mound, and went 1 for 3 at the plate with 2 RBIs. John Finley got the save and Angus Denton went 3 for 3 at the plate for the Badgers.

The Badgers came into the tournament with one game under their belt. They beat Sylvan Hills in Sherwood the night before, also by a final score of 7-4.

Denton started on the mound and got the win, and also went 2 for 5 at the plate with 2 RBIs. Finley got the save, pitching the last inning after the Badgers broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the sixth inning.

Little Rock Central then beat Greenbrier 6-3 before a pair of extra-inning games closed out the first day of play.

Sylvan Hills beat Searcy 3-2 in nine innings before Cabot needed 11 innings to knock off Vilonia 5-3.