Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Bears capitalize on 10 base hits

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills Bears scored at least three runs in each of the first four innings to earn a 13-7, five-inning victory over Malvern on Saturday at the Sherwood Sports Complex. The Bears (2-0) got 10 base hits, but struggled with mistakes for the second game, committing four errors and giving up five unearned runs.

Blake Maddox and Jacob Franco each went 3 for 3 to lead the way offensively while Hunter Heslep threw three innings for the win on the mound.

Leadoff hitter Mackenzie Seats scored the first run on an RBI single to left field by Franco. Seats was hit by the first pitch of the game. Maddox was then hit on a 2-2 pitch, and Heslep walked to load the bases.

That set up Franco’s RBI single. Maddox then scored on a wild pitch before Ryan Lumpkin walked to load the bases again.

Joe Craft walked to drive in the third run of the inning and Franco scored on a wild pitch to cap the four-run first.

Seats began the second inning just like the first, drawing a leadoff walk. Maddox then singled to put runners on the corners. Heslep sacrificed to right field to score Seats and Maddox held at first. Franco then walked and Lumpkin singled to load the bases. Craft then singled to right field to score Maddox and Lumpkin and made it 7-0.

Malvern got three runs in the top of the third, but just one earned thanks to two Sylvan Hills errors.

Lukas Burrow got an infield single to start the bottom of the third and moved to third on an errant pick-off throw. Seats then reached on a fielder’s choice back to the pitcher, but the throw home wasn’t in time to get Burrow. Seats stole second and scored on a single by Maddox to make it 9-3. Heslep lined out to center field for the first out of the inning. Franco then hit a line-drive double to left that advanced Maddox to third.

Lumpkin then singled to score Maddox, but the rally ended with back-to-back strikeouts.

Malvern got two more runs in the top of the fourth on one hit and two errors. Sylvan Hills then got three more in the bottom of the fourth, its final at-bat.

Haden Hawkins took a 3-0 pitch off the hip to start the inning, and Bryce Allen took his place on the base paths. Barrow was also hit before Seats got a sacrifice grounder to move runners into scoring position, but both runners ended up scoring due to a throwing error by Malvern. Maddox then singled to center field and Heslep walked. Franco then singled to score Maddox for a 13-5 lead.

Malvern set the final margin with two runs, including one earned, in the top of the fifth.

Sylvan Hills opened conference play with a doubleheader at Mills on Tuesday, and will play a nonconference game at home against Searcy on Friday.