Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> SH Bears outlast Badgers

Leader sports editor

A rapid first three innings turned into a long, drawn out affair as the Sylvan Hills Bears remained unbeaten with an 19-13 marathon victory over Beebe on Friday. 

The game was originally scheduled for Beebe, but was moved to Sherwood because of weather related field issues at BHS. 

The game was scoreless for three innings. Beebe leadoff hitter Carson McNeill walked in the first inning, but the next nine batters went down in order for the Badgers. Sylvan Hills got one on in the first inning, and two base hits in the third, but could not get a run across the plate. 

Then things changed dramatically in the fourth inning as both teams struggled to find the strike zone. 

“We didn’t play well,” said Sylvan Hills coach Denny Tipton. “Neither team did, really. We just couldn’t throw strikes. We got a few more hits than they did and that was the difference. But it was not a pretty game. We have to be better than that.”

Sylvan Hills played as the visiting team since the game was originally scheduled for Beebe, and scored eight runs in the top of the fourth. The rally started immediately with an error at first base. The next two batters were hit and walked respectively to load the bases. Chaz Poppy then doubled to clear the bases and give the Bears the lead. Another hit batter and another walk loaded things again for leadoff hitter Michael Coven, who singled to drive in two more runs. Another hit batter led to a two-out, two-run triple by Ryan Lumpkin to cap off the scoring in the frame.

The huge Sylvan Hills lead didn’t last long, as Beebe posted six in the bottom half of the same frame. Noah Jolly hit a leadoff single, followed by three-consecutive walks to drove him in for Beebe’s first run. Blaine Burge then doubled for three RBIs before two hit batters and two more walks made the score 8-6.

Sylvan Hills (8-0) got a walk and a double to start the fifth inning, and Coven hit a two-RBI single to make it 10-6. The Bears then added nine more runs on just two base hits in the sixth inning. Seven of the first eight batters reached for Sylvan Hills on one hit, two walks, two hit batters and two Beebe errors. Zach Douglass then doubled as the ninth batter of the inning. Another walk was followed by a two-RBI triple by Lumpkin that completed the Bears’ scoring in the game and gave them a 19-6 lead.

Beebe (2-4-1) kept the game from ending on the 10-runs-after-five-innings mercy rule by scoring four in the bottom of the sixth. Burge led off by reaching on an error at shortstop before two walks and a hit batter drove him in. Logan Sharp then singled to score two runs, and a wild pitch allowed another run to score to make it 19-10.

Beebe finished the scoring when two hit batters led to a two-RBI triple by McNeill in the seventh. McNeill then scored on an RBI base hit by Jolly to set the final margin.

Both teams issued 13 free bases. The Bears had 10 base hits to go along with seven walks and six hit batters. The Badgers had five hits along with eight walks and five hit batters.