Friday, May 18, 2012

TOP STORY >> At 80, still roofing and tough as nails

Leader staff writer

Tough as nails best describes 80-year-old Jacksonville roofer Richard Moore.

Moore could be seen atop First Assembly of God Church on North Elm Street for several weeks nailing new shingles on a portion of the church. Moore’s been roofing since the late 1940s, helping his father who was also a roofing contractor.

“I haven’t had a bad accident at all. I never fell off a roof.Jumped off, but not fell off,” Moore said.

Moore was born in 1931 in Inglewood, Calif. His family moved to Jacksonville in 1947 when his father was contracted to roof houses in Sunnyside.

Moore was 18 years old, attending Jacksonville High School when he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War in 1953. He entered the war as a bridge builder and ended up a baker. He earned his diploma through an ROTC training program.

When his father passed away in 1955, Richard and his late brothers, Cappy and Jim, continued the roofing business.

“Both were pretty good roofers,” Moore said.

Today, Moore has help from Lemuel Smith and Joe Champagne. Still caring about safety, Moore points out to the guys where to step and how to walk on pitched roofs.

He often asks his co-workers if they are getting overheated or need a water break from the blistering sun.

“We work till about noon, till it gets too hot,” Moore said.

“Shoveling the shingles is a pretty good job, and carrying them up the ladder is a job,” Moore said.

Moore works at a steady pace, making sure the shingles are aligned and aren’t bowed up so the wind doesn’t catch them.

“If I hit a crack in the wood, I try to nail higher,” he said.

“I might have been fast at one time, but not anymore,” Moore said.

Moore is planning to retire this year. He tried to last year, but the Yellow Pages didn’t take his business number out so customers kept calling.

Moore will still climb a ladder and check on the roofs he’s installed, a number he’s lost count of.

Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher, a second-generation home builder, who worked 25 years in the industry before being elected, said Moore still does roofing the old-fashioned way: By hand with a hammer.

“Richard is a true craftsman. He is an active, hard-working man,” Fletcher said .

The mayor said roofers have the toughest job in construction. They need stamina and strength to work often under intense heat and wind.

“I highly respect him. He’s salt of the earth great,” Fletcher said.

Whit Davis Lumber general manager Dan Davis said it is remarkable for Moore to be able to continue to roof at his age.

“He does a phenomenal job. He does it old-school, the right way. He’s dependable as you can be. I refer him to do repair jobs. He can find a leak. I think the world of him,” Davis said.

Davis said Moore’s hammer’s wood handle has conformed to his hand after decades of hard work.

With amazement, Davis described Moore’s hammer’s face that is worn so much from driving nails and grinding against the shingles.

Moore and his wife, Norma will be married 53 years this month. They have two sons, Richard and Don and three grandchildren, Jordan, Jared and Beth.

TOP STORY >> Fire rating upgraded, insurance fees to fall

Leader staff writer

Residential and business fire insurance rates in Jacksonville could go down since the city’s fire department has been upgraded to a Class 2 rating.

The ranking, which comes from the Insurance Service Organization, puts the city in unique company as only 13 other cities in Arkansas have a Class 2 rating.

The ISO graded the city’s fire department rating last year and recently released the 85.29 score, less than five points from a Class 1 rating. Only two cities in Arkansas have a Class 1 rating.

“This is an outstanding achievement for us,” said Fire Chief John Vanderhoof, who emphasized that it was a total city effort. He added that the department’s dispatch unit received a Class 1 rating with a score of 10 out of 10.

“We’ll analyze the ISO information to make sure we at least maintain our new rating and possible move up when they grade us again in about three years.”

Mayor Gary Fletcher told the city council Thursday this goes beyond just the insurance savings. “It is a strong recruiting tool to help bring in businesses and industry.”

The ISO measures major elements of a community’s fire suppression system, such as personnel training, manning levels of engine and ladder companies, water supply and distribution systems, receiving and dispatching fire alarms, fire fighting equipment, needed fire flow, and fire company locations.

By analyzing the data and using criteria outlined in a rating schedule, a field analyst will produce a final classification number for a community. Each of the 46,000 plus communities are graded from one to 10, with one being the best. This also would mean lower or higher insurance rates depending on the classification number.

The grade is broken down into three sections with 40 percent of the rating coming from the condition of the city’s water system, 50 percent from the condition, manpower and response time of the fire department and 10 percent from the ability of communications centers to receive and handle alarms.

Most cities in Arkansas are a Class 9.

In other council business:

The council approved the sanitation department plans to swap an unused truck with a dealer for one the city can use. The department wants to swap a 2006 Mack hybrid refuse truck it bought as federal surplus several years ago for a 2003 Peterbilt sideloader truck to be a backup to the city’s automated fleet.

Director of Administration Jim Durham said it was a win-win. “We are trading a truck that we don’t and can’t use for one that will get used often,” he said.

Durham said the city original bought the surplus truck as part of a plan to place dumpsters around the city and use the truck to pick up the refuse. But the plan was trashed and the city soon discovered it was too expensive to maintain the hybrid portion of the vehicle. “I think we only ran it once. But it has lots of good parts on it and the dealer will salvage it out,” Durham explained.

 The council approved spending $18,499 from an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission grant on two Bayou Meto canoe ramps as the city continues its effort to turn Bayou Meto into a tourist stop for canoeists and kayakers. Harris Construction will construct the ramps.

 In his monthly report, Police Chief Gary Sipes said his department responded to 3,584 complaint calls during April and made 351 arrests.

Reviewing major crime categories for the month, Sipes said Jacksonville had no homicides, three sexual assaults, one robbery, 21 felony assaults, 109 thefts, one vehicle theft and one case of arson.

Code enforcement officers, now under the police chief, had 511 self-initiated calls and 95 assigned calls during April. The officers issued 148 letters and nine notices for city code violations, tagged 17 vehicles and 55 trash cans for noncompliance and removed 187 signs.

 Fire Chief John Vanderhoof said his department responded to 223 rescue calls, 48 still alarms, 27 general alarms and had 279 ambulance runs in April. Estimated fire loss for the month was $104,000, while fire savings was placed at $46,000.

 The monthly animal shelter report stated the shelter had received 74 dogs and 61 cats during April. Shelter officials were able to return 31 dogs and three cats to their owners while adopting out 32 dogs and 46 cats. The shelter euthanized 19 dogs and 31 cats.

One animal bite was reported during April and that was a stray cat which bit a shelter official while they were trying to transfer it to a cage. The cat was euthanized.

 City Engineer Jay Whisker reported that his department issued 20 building permits and 18 business licenses in April as well as performed 111 inspections.

TOP STROY >> Primaries to decide key races Tuesday

Leader staff writer

The polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for the primary election that will determine which candidates win now and which candidates will be on the ballot in November.

Arkansas has an open primary. Voters of any party may vote for the candidate of whatever party they choose, but voters in one primary are prohibited from participating in another primary or runoff, although this prohibition is difficult to enforce.

In Lonoke County, the Republican county judge is running unopposed for a second term. Two Democrats and four Republicans are running for sheriff. The winners of those primaries will face each other in November.

But in the races for county assessor, circuit clerk and several seats on the quorum court, the winners will be decided in the Republican primary.

Steve Finch and Dean White are the Democrats in the race for sheriff. John Staley, Jason Wilkinson, Steve Finch and James Kulesa are the Republicans.

In the race for assessor, incumbent Jack McNally faces Jim Bailey in the Republican primary.

Incumbent Denise Brown hopes to keep her position as circuit clerk when she faces Deborah Oglesby in the Republican primary. Brown is in her first term. Oglesby was her predecessor.

County Clerk Dawn Porterfield, a Democrat, will be on the ballot in November against either William “Larry” Clarke or Lisa Goodman, both Republicans.

In Lonoke County Quorum Court races, Republicans Brent Cannon and Toby Troutman are the only candidates running in Dist. 1; Republicans Barry “BJ” Weathers and Larry Ridgeway are the only candidates in Dist. 2; Republicans Joshua McCann and Dr. Henry L. Lang, the incumbent, are the only candidates in Dist. 3; Republicans B.L. “Ernie” Ernst and Darrin Waymack are the only candidates in Dist. 4; Republicans Tate House and Charles D. Evans are the only candidates in Dist. 8; and Republicans Larry Odom, the incumbent, and Tim Yarboro are the only candidates in Dist. 13.

Like County Judge Doug Erwin, the county collector and the other seats on the quorum court are unopposed.

The race for county treasurer will be decided in November when Democrat Karol Depriest, the incumbent, will face Republican Patti Weathers.

Three members of the quorum court have competition for their seats but only the race for Pos. 5 will be decided Tuesday when incumbent Efrem Z. Jones faces Lloyd Whitaker in the Democratic primary.

In the race for Pos. 2, incumbent Pat Howell faces Danny Whitehurst in the Democratic primary. The winner will face Republican Stacey Pennington Moore in November. The winner of Pos. 1 also will be decided in November when Jane Derning, the Democratic incumbent faces Republican challenger John D. Robinson.

Circuit Judge Philip Whiteaker is running for Arkansas Court of Appeals, Dist. 1, Pos. 2 against Jeanette Robinson and Richard Lusby.


In Pulaski County, Dist. 11 JP Bob Johnson (R-Jacksonville) is being challenged by Republican James “Jim” Stanley of rural Jacksonville.

Dist. 12 JP Jeff Rollins of (R-Sherwood) is running against Republican Karilyn Brown of Sherwood.

Jacksonville District Judge Robert Batton is challenged by Jacksonville attorney Marshall Nash. Hill Township Constable Dennis Sobba (R-Jacksonville) is facing Republican Frederick “Rick” Scott of Maumelle.

Tjuana Byrd is facing John Hout and Patti James for circuit judge, sixth judicial district, 11th Division.


White County Judge Michael Lincoln is challenged by Bill Haynie in the Republican primary. But except for the county clerk, which has a three-way race among Republicans, all other statutory offices are unopposed.

Britney Sellers-Hawkins, Randall Young and Cheryl Evans are the Republicans running for the position of county clerk, which became open last year when Tanya Burleson stepped down last year for health reasons.

Of the five races in White County’s 13 justice of the peace Districts for the quorum court, only the race for Dist. 11 will be decided by the primary.

In that race, incumbent Ed Land faces David C. Schoenberger in the Republican primary.

Waylon D. Heathscott, the Democratic incumbent in Dist. 8 will face Layne “Boss” Vaughan in the Democratic primary.

The winner will face Greg Niblock in November.

The race in Dist. 1 (Beebe) is between Horace Taylor, the Democratic incumbent and Nathan Ray, a Republican.

In Dist. 5, Jimmy L. House, the Democratic incumbent, faces Republican Sam Hailey in November.

In Dist. 7, incumbent Kenneth Horton, an independent, faces challenges from David W. Freppon, a Democrat and Lesli S. “Spencer” Chestnut, a Republican.

TOP STORY >> Commander of 314th gets a key role at Maxwell AFB

Leader executive editor

Col. Mark Czelusta, commander of the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, is going to the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., where he will be the commandant of the Squadron Officer College and Squadron Officers School.

He will succeed Col. Terrance (Marco) McCaffrey as commandant.

Col. Edward Scott Brewer, director of staff at Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base. Ill., will take over the 314th Airlift Wing in a change-of-command ceremony next month.

Brewer trained here as a C-130 pilot and has led humanitarian and combat operations in Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, South America and the Philippines. He also helped evacuate people from Hurricanes Gustave and Ike in the U.S. He has flown in five different versions of the C-130.

Czelusta is moving on to a sprawling air base with 45,000 people. The base is also home to Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, International Officer School and the 42nd Air Base Wing.

The campus is called “the intellectual and leadership center of the Air Force” and is part of Air Education and Training Command at San Antonio.

The 314th Airlift Wing, which trains all C-130 crews in the U.S. military and more than 40 allied nations, is also part of AETC.

“It’s never easy to leave a base that has meant so much to you,” Czelusta said in an interview on Tuesday. But he was pleased with his new assignment.

“It’s a chance for me to continue on the command level,” he said.

The schools in Montgomery, Ala., train 16,000 company-grade officers a year, “preparing them to fly, fight in air, space, and cyberspace and motivating these airmen to value their role in the profession of arms,” according to the school’s website.

“Students are treated to a graduate-level executive leadership seminar that helps them to identify their leadership strengths and weaknesses, provides them tools for improvement and empowers them with opportunities to apply what they have learned,” according to the website.

Czelusta took over the 314th AW in August 2010. He had two previous tours at LRAFB.

“I’m a three-time returnee,” he said.

His predecessor here, Col. Charles K. Hyde, has been promoted to brigadier general and is commander at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Czelusta’s new assignment will mean overseeing a broad curriculum for young Air Force officers, while with the 314th he focused on training C-130 crews that fly around the globe after they complete their training here.

“Every C-130 crew has flown with the 314th,” Czelusta said. “They have carried out airdrop missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. They’re in South and Central America. They were put in the air by the 314th. We’re very proud of that. We’re the only wing in the Air Force that can say that.”

He said a sense of partnership has made the 314th successful, working along with the 19th Airlift Wing, the 189th Airlift Wing and the Reserves at the base.

“It’s been humbling, rewarding and energizing to lead them,” he said of the 314th AW.

“I can’t figure out what I did to deserve to lead them,” said the self-effacing Czelusta, whose wing last year brought home the Gen. Joe W. Kelly Trophy for best C-130 team at the Air Mobility Command rodeo at McChord Airfield on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. It brought home five other trophies.

He waves off that accomplishment by saying the credit belongs to all airmen at the base, including the host 19th Airlift Wing, the Guard and Reserves and the community.

“The success of the 314th is not measured just by the success at the rodeo but its daily missions and maintenance performance,” he continued.

The wing carries out 20-24 missions daily.

“We measure our success by the quality of our graduates,” the colonel said.

The wing includes 1,200 people — 900 in uniform and 300 civilians, who continually train 500 C-130 crew members.

The wing graduates 1,800 airmen a year — about half of them pilots.

The mission and its people make the 314th special, he said, along with the community support the base enjoys.

Besides training C-130 crews, the 314th AW has participated in combat airlift operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

The 314th recently retired its oldest C-130E, which was made in 1962. The wing has 27 planes — nine new C-130Js and 18 older C-130H2, which were made in the late 1970s until 1992. The wing will soon get another C-130J and will eventually transition to all Js, as will the host 19th Airlift Wing. The Guard and Reserve units will fly with older C-130s.

From 2005-2007, Czelusta was the 463rd Operations Sup-port Squadron commander at LRAFB.

He was also the commander of the 386th Expeditionary Operations Group in 2006. He led a team of approximately 190 airmen providing combat airlift, airborne electronic attack and operations support capabilities for operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

He received the Bronze Star for his performance commanding the only hub-and-spoke airlift squadron in Iraq.

The squadron delivered more than 19,000 passengers and 10,800 tons of cargo to numerous forward-operating bases. The deliveries eliminated more than 1,675 convoy vehicles and saved countless lives from the dangerous roads in Iraq.

SPORTS STORY >> Badgers trying to fill gaps on inside

Leader sportswriter

Rebuilding on the offensive line was one of the top priorities for Beebe as the Badgers wrapped up two weeks of spring football practice on Friday. Four starters return to the O line, leaving three gaps for head coach John Shannon and staff to fill in.

The offensive line takes increased priority under Shannon’s Dead-T style offensive attack in which running holes are paramount. A solid anchor was in place to start with in returning starters Race Payne, Scotty Limbaugh, Jared Pressley and Brody Welcher.

“The kids worked really hard and carried over from the offseason,” Shannon said. “We had a good offseason, but we still have a few holes to fill. We have four starters on our O line back, and we needed three more to step up. We had some sophomores do a good job out there.”

Defensively, the Badgers are looking to fill vacancies at defensive end, one linebacker position and at safety. There were few players who played on both offense and defense in 2011, and Shannon said he is hoping to have a similar situation for this season.

“That’s what we would like to get into,” Shannon said. “But, if it ends up being a situation where we have to have someone play both ways, we will.”

While rebuilding is taking place in some areas, others return with plenty of experience, including three-year returning starter Michael Kirby at halfback, junior Eric Thorn at fullback and Division I college prospect Dusty Skinner at nose guard.

“No one on our team can block him,” Shannon said of Skinner. “So, we’re hoping there’s no one anywhere who can block him. I also thought Eric Thorn had a good spring. It seems like the light bulb went off for him, so we’re hoping he will develop into the premier back we thought he would be all along.”

With most high-school teams functioning year round on average, the role of spring practice has changed in recent years, but Shannon said the two weeks in May are no less important.

“I like spring ball,” Shannon said. “It gives you a chance to get a look at the young kids coming in a little earlier. You can get a good idea of who’s coming up.

The Badgers got to spend some time off the practice field on Tuesday afternoon with a field trip across Center Street in Beebe to see new Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn speak at the ASU-Beebe Student Center. Malzahn spoke during what was essentially a meet and greet, referencing his past affiliation with Shannon, as the two graduated from Henderson State University together in 1990.

“Anybody on that level has achieved celebrity status,” Shannon said. “The kids got to see him after seeing him on ESPN and things like that, so they were excited about it.”

SPORTS STORY >> Bison sacrifice walking for title

Leader sportswriter

There was never any doubt where the six seniors on Carlisle’s baseball team would be today.

With graduation taking place at Carlisle High School and the Bison set to take on Woodlawn for the 2A state championship today at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville at 5:30 p.m., it created a conflict for the senior players, including valedictorian Tommy Inman.

Inman, as well as his teammates, did not need a lot of time in making their decision to either walk or play.

“It’s definitely a sacrifice I have to make, but it’s a good one to have to make,” Inman said. “Valedictorian and a state championship game, it doesn’t get much better than that. I always knew if we played to our potential we would be pretty good this year.”

The Bison (29-6) are technically considered the favorites as the No. 1 seed out of the East Region against a Woodlawn team which entered the state tournament as a No. 3 seed out of the South Region. The Bears’ tradition for baseball excellence, however, makes the Bison a bit of an underdog in reality.

That was the same situation a week ago against a Horatio team that had a lot more postseason experience than Carlisle, but the Bison sent them home a round early to the tune of a 13-3 blowout with a dominant performance on the mound for junior Josh Mathis.

Senior Shane Wilson will be the starting pitcher for Carlisle when the Bison take to the field against Woodlawn today for his final high school performance. Wilson said the choice between playing and walking at graduation was a no-brainer.

“A state-championship game is probably every high school player’s dream,” Wilson said. “When the conflict came about, there was no doubt in my mind I would rather play in the state championship game. I think that’s what everybody wants to do; I think that’s probably everybody’s answer to that.”

With family members coming in from around the state and country for graduation, there was no chance of adjusting the schedule for baseball, leaving seniors like catcher Derick Herring with a big choice to make.

“The superintendent came and talked to us seniors,” Herring said. “And, it basically came down to picking one over the other. We decided to play for a state championship, and just get our diplomas there at Baum.”

Herring was also a receiver on the Bison’s state runner up football team, giving him the distinction of playing for both a football and baseball state title his senior year.

“Everybody’s excited,” Her-ring said. “It’s everybody behind us – a small-town community. It feels good to come out here and do what we do. We’ve carried our mentality over from football. It’s got us to where we’re playing for another state championship on Saturday.”

When it comes to Woodlawn, the Bears have also been impressive in their postseason run under coach Tommy Richardson. Carlisle coach B.J. Greene expects to see one of two seniors on the mound for the Bears in either Trey Hankins or Gavin Johnston.

“They’re a good team,” Greene said. “What we’ve done is go out every day and do our same routine. We know they’re going to try and bunt it in some situations, we know they’re going to try to run when they get on. They’ve got a lefty and a righty; I don’t know who he’s going to throw.

“There’s a lot of Arkansas period, 2A through 7A that want to be Woodlawn. Any time you can say you’ve been in the finals five of the past six years, you’ve done something good.”

It will also mark the final game as head Bison for Greene, who will leave Carlisle to take over the baseball program at Heber Springs next season, marking the end of a five-year run over Bison baseball.

“The bottom line is, it’s because of these guys right here,” Greene said. “This was done way before the state-championship game was ever in play. The main reason I’m getting to move up is because of these kids right here. I will always be indebted to these guys.”

SPORTS STORY >> Falcons’ coach spots progress

Leader sports editor

The North Pulaski football team has about what most class 5A schools would expect to have out for spring practice, but about double what the Falcons themselves are used to. The Falcons have averaged between 55 and 60 players for spring drills that ended Friday. The low count was 52 and the high was 63. The team is heavy with sophomores, but that’s something second-year coach Teodis Ingram is glad to see.

“We really hit the middle school and the community hard trying to get kids interested in our whole athletic program at North Pulaski,” Ingram said. “There’s never been any doubt that this was a building process. I’m ecstatic to have so many sophomores.”

Another rarity at North Pulaski is that six players from the basketball team have taken part in football offseason and spring practice.

“We’ve got some kids in every class from the basketball that haven’t played since ninth- grade,” Ingram said. “Coach (Roy) Jackson has done a great job of working with us. We’re trying to build our whole program here at North Pulaski and all the coaches have been working really well together.”

Ingram installed a regimented and demanding off-season conditioning program. He felt the team didn’t match up well in physical strength with many opponents last season, especially towards the end of games. The off-season regiment is meant to change that, and students have taken to the program.

“The kids have responded really well,” Ingram said. “They’ve adjusted well to what we’re trying to do, even though maybe they weren’t used to putting this much work in.”

Ingram’s off-season participants have lifted three days a week, and done speed and quickness training on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Now with a couple of weeks of live practice, Ingram believes he sees marked improvement, especially from many linemen.

“There’s no doubt we’re stronger,” Ingram said. “You can just look at how much the weights on our lifting have gone up. But the thing I like is that are footwork drills seems to be helping our linemen a lot. They’re much quicker pulling and getting out front on our option.”
Ingram also hopes sticking to the regiment will increase his team’s mental toughness.

“I feel like we are stronger mentally,” Ingram said. “I really think that’s where we lost some ball games last year. Being in better shape helps that a lot.”
of course the program hasn’t been all work and no fun. Ingram has tried to keep workouts and practices fast paced, and tries to engage the new players as much as possible.

“This is game and we want kids to enjoy it,” Ingram said. “We want to make things fast paced, keep them from getting bored. We certainly want to try to engage the sophomores. Depth helps any team. If our young kids, our kids coming from basketball, all these new guys stick with it, we may only have to have one or two play both ways.”

Ingram plans to have his team play a game-situation, full-team scrimmage on Tuesday. The first team offense will face the first team defense and so on down the depth chart. Approximate start time for the scrimmage will be 5 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend.

SPORTS STORY >> Jackrabbits face Saints

Leader sports editor

The Lonoke Jackrabbits flew under the radar into today’s class 4A state baseball championship game against Shiloh Christian, but they believe it’s about time they began to get a little respect around the state. They’ll try to earn that respect at about 12:30 p.m. today at Baum Stadium on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville when they take the field with the heavily favored Saints.

Senior Lane Moore will take the mound for Lonoke. Like the rest of the Jackrabbit team, the team’s perseverance throughout the season has given him reason to believe it will complete the dream season and win the state title.

“From the beginning of the season we all knew we had the talent and tools to get here,” Moore said. “It was just a matter of putting things together. We learned over the course of the season where to play people, how to get runs and win. That was the main thing, just getting runs across the plate and getting the win. ”Lonoke sputtered at the beginning of the season but almost every player felt like things were turning around after the first conference series.

“When we swept Heber Springs in our first conference games we knew we were strong,” said senior Guy Halbert, who had the game-tying RBI and the game-winning home run against Pulaski Academy in last Saturday’s 12-inning semifinal victory. “We hadn’t swept Heber Springs in forever and when we pulled that off, we knew we had something here.”

Still, after the sweep at Heber Springs, there times when things didn’t look so bright. The Jackrabbits lost 1-0 in eight innings against Newport, bringing back to the forefront the troubles eluded to by Moore, manufacturing runs.

While the first conference series is when the team realized it had state-championship potential it was the last conference series that proved to the team it may reach that potential.

“When we played Clinton for our conference title, we had to beat them twice to win the conference and we did it,” Moore said.

Pitcher and third baseman Hayden Hambrick also points to Clinton as a step towards state glory.

“The Clinton game is when I felt like our bats came alive,” Hambrick said. “In regionals too when we beat them, we were really hitting the ball well.”

The offensive surge is what Lonoke coach Darrick Lowery believes lifted his team’s confidence enough to make it believe it could overcome bad odds.

Lonoke had to rally from six runs down in the final two innings to beat Gentry in the first round of the state tournament last Thursday. Then had to overcome a three run deficit to beat Pulaski Academy in its last game.

“Just knowing that at any one point we could score three or four runs to come back and tie or win a ballgame was huge,” Lowery said. “Getting the bats going like we did towards the end was a tremendous confidence boost for us. This has been one of the best teams I’ve ever had as far as teamwork. Team chemistry has been great all year, so getting the bats going like we did at the end of the year gave us the confidence to keep battling and pull those games out when we got behind.”

Perhaps no one on the team is as confident as junior shortstop Blake Gooden. Gooden so far has an astounding .833 batting average in the state tournament on 10 for 12 hitting. He also pitched the last five innings of the semifinal win against Pulaski Academy, giving up just one hit. He points to the huge first-round comeback as a sign of better things to come.

“After that Gentry game, I just feel like it’s our destiny to win,” Gooden said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet that we’re here. It feels pretty great. It’s pretty exciting to playing for the championship.”

Gooden understands his team is the underdog, but doesn’t believe the Jackrabbits championship opponent is any better than they are.

“We’re tit-for-tat with this team,” Gooden said. “We’ve already made it this far when no one though we would. It’s about time for us to get a little credit.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

TOP STORY >> Another benefit to help first-responders

Leader staff writer

Another benefit concert has been scheduled to help the families of two Jacksonville firefighters and a police officer.

Two were injured and one killed while trying to help a woman who wrecked her vehicle in a ditch on Hwy. 161 on March 19.

The woman’s son, Bryce Allen, 47, drove through a police barricade striking all three first responders.

Fire Capt. Donny Jones, 56, died at the scene, while fellow firefighter Jason Bowmaster and police officer Daniel DiMatteo were critically injured.

Jill Ross, the city’s human resource director, who is helping coordinate the benefits, said Bowmaster and DiMatteo are now home from the hospital, but Bowmaster faces a number of surgeries and is not yet walking. DiMatteo is able to walk with assistance and is also facing more medical visits and therapy.

A concert at the Electric Cowboy in Little Rock, along with a silent auction, a car wash and a night where Jacksonville’s Chili’s restaurant donated a portion of its sales has already raised more than $6,000 to help the families.

“That doesn’t include the numerous generous donations that have been dropped off at city hall, the fire stations, police department or Arvest Bank,” said Ross, “but more is needed.”

This next benefit is at 7 p.m. June 1 at Vino’s in Little Rock and is sponsored by the Edge, 100.3. There will also be an on-line silent auction that ties in with the concert.

The Vino concert is open to all ages and four central Arkansas bands, two with police officers or 911 dispatchers in them.

The bands are Cinders 2 Ascension, with Jacksonville 911 dispatcher George Platt and police officer Grant Roberts, Three Sixteen, with local 911 dispatcher Eric Powell, More Than Sparrows, and Transcend.

The cost is $10 at the door and all proceeds go into the tragedy funds to continue to help Jones’s family, Bowmaster and DiMatteo.

Jones’ death was the first death in the line of duty for the Jacksonville Fire Department.

Jones had three brothers and he was the eldest.

His youngest brother, Jon, a Jacksonville engineer/firefighter, said, “He inspired me to become a fireman. It was a tragic loss of a great firefighter, a great father, a great person.”

Allen has been charged with second-degree murder and criminal attempt to commit murder.

Allen has claimed that his accelerator had stuck.

The police report said the investigation showed that Allen made no attempt to brake, accelerated before hitting the three men and appeared to be aiming toward them. Allen allegedly has a violent past and a history of mental problems, including being bipolar, delusions about the Ku Klux Klan and hallucinations.

TOP STORY >> Batton wants one more term

Jacksonville District Court Judge Robert Batton is up for re-election on Tuesday. The judge has been on the bench 35 years.

He is hoping to make it an even 40 by winning Tuesday’s election and then to retire in 2016. But Batton is being challenged by Marshall Nash, an attorney who lives in Jacksonville.

Batton, 68, and his wife, Jane, have been married 38 years. They have two children, Leslie Gleason and John Batton. He has two grandsons, Grant, 3, and Gage, who is 6 months old.

“I am very proud of all of them, and they have given me much happiness and pleasure,” the judge said.

The Leader asked the candidates to answer questions in their own words. Nash’s answers were published in Saturday’s edition. Here are Batton’s responses:

How long have you lived in this area?

Batton: I moved to Arkansas in 1967 to attend law school, and I have been a proud resident of Jacksonville for 41 years.

What experiences qualify you to be judge?

Batton: I am a 1967 graduate of the University of Miami in Florida with a degree in business administration. In 1970, I received a juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

For five years, I was a deputy city attorney in Jacksonville. I have practiced law in all the courts in Pulaski County and have been appointed special judge in Pulaski and Lonoke counties.

As a trial lawyer, I have tried cases in most of the circuit court divisions and have argued cases in the Arkansas Court of Appeals of the U.S. District Courts.

In addition, my experience of having served the Jacksonville District Court has given me by far the most background and knowledge of the law to serve the people of our community impartially and fairly.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the judicial system, especially in Jacksonville?

Batton: I listen to litigants in court and determine with certainty the facts of a particular case by applying my knowledge of the law to the applicable law.

I have no prejudice or bias and do not succumb to external influences that would prevent me correctly applying the law to the facts of the situations.

Another strength of the court is being innovative and open to areas of improvement of its operation.

During my tenure I have guided the court by being the third court in the state to implement small-claims court and being one of the first district courts to be completely computerized in its operation.

Why should voters cast their ballots for you?

Batton: Voters should cast their ballots for me because I pledge to continue to be fair, honest, impartial and independent to all people who appear in court.

I also have an extensive knowledge of the law. I will continue to take more than the required legal education hours to better serve the people of Jacksonville.

The voters should know that I enjoy working for them and that seeing a person turn their life around is always a priority.

I have cordial relationships with the police department, code enforcement, the mayor and city council, and I look forward to being re-elected on Tuesday.

TOP STORY >> Clerk challenger an ex-incumbent

Leader staff writer

Lonoke County Circuit Clerk Denise Brown is running for a second term. She is being challenged by former County Clerk Deborah Oglesby, who was defeated by Brown in 2008. Both candidates are Republicans. Oglesby, who ran as a Democrat in the past, recently changed parties. The primary is Tuesday.

The Leader asked the candidates to answer questions in their own words to give voters a better understanding of their qualifications.

Brown, 49, is married to Ralph N. Brown, who has been the Lonoke County Jail chaplain for the last five years. The couple will celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary next week.

They have four sons, Jacob, Daniel, Nathan and Matthew.

Jacob just finished his freshman year at UALR; Daniel will be a junior at Lonoke High School; Nathan is at Lonoke Middle School, and he is going into 8th-grade, and Matthew will begin kindergarten at Lonoke Primary School.

Oglesby, 36, is the proud mother of one son, Trevor, who is 17. She is the daughter of Donald Oglesby and Linda Finch of Cabot

How long in the area?

Brown: I have lived in Arkansas since 1984 (28 years), I have lived in Lonoke County for over 13 years. I have heard other candidates say how they have lived their entire lives in Lonoke, Cabot, Lonoke County etc., and I hope my children will one day be able to say that. That said, I choose to live here and in making this choice, I choose to do what I can to enrich our community.

Oglesby: I was born and raised in the Cabot area and have been a Lonoke County resident my entire life. I am a graduate of Cabot High School.

What in your work history qualifies you for the position?

Brown: I am currently the Circuit Clerk. Prior to that I was the office manager at the Lonoke County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for over 10 years. I had several goals in mind when I ran in 2010 and when I took office on Jan. 1, 2011. I have been able to achieve all of my goals. I was able to restructure the office so that it is much more accessible to the public. I installed Microsoft Office on all computer stations so that the office has e-mail capability. I developed a website,, so jurors are able to access and check their next report date. Also it is now utilized to post the judicial foreclosure sales. I streamlined jury orientation, selection and the payment process. I make sure that all child-support payments are mailed out the same day they are received. Single parents depend on that money to support their families.

Oglesby: I have worked in Lonoke County government for 17 years and have held the positions of deputy county/probate clerk for one year, deputy circuit clerk for 10 years and I served as your Lonoke County Circuit Clerk for six years.

I have completed 114 hours in Arkansas Circuit Clerk’s continuing education classes through the Arkansas Public Administrative Consortium at the University of Arkansas. I have experience in every aspect of the Lonoke County Circuit Clerk’s office.

Why do you want the position?

I want to continue to update the technology of the office, in addition to all the improvements I have made. In June, I will be meeting with a representative from the Administrative Office of the Courts. This meeting is in regards to making our court documents available to the public beginning early to mid 2013. My goal is to make this office as accessible as possible.

Oglesby: I want to be your Lonoke County Circuit Clerk again because I truly loved serving the great citizens of Lonoke County and look forward to serving them once again. I care about the people of Lonoke County and insist that the citizens deserve to be treated with respect at all times, regardless of the situation. I hope the citizens of Lonoke County will consider my 16 years proven experience and knowledge as former circuit clerk of Lonoke County at the polls on Tuesday.

What do you see as the biggest challenge of the position?

Brown: I am not sure if this would be considered a challenge, but the job of the circuit clerk is to make sure that all documents are recorded and filed within 24 hours. We are striving each day to maintain that standard.

I have the best staff and they all work 100 percent. Even though this is not a “glamorous” position, to me this office is the backbone of our court system. So in essence the challenge is to make sure we are accurate, courteous and conscientious. Serving the public is our main priority.

Oglesby: One of the biggest challenges is the pressing need for storage space for court records in the Circuit Clerk’s Office. These records consist of domestic relations, juvenile, criminal and civil court filings that are original pleadings that must be kept permanently. Storage for these records is currently inadequate in that old records are stored in various locations within the courthouse. There records are stored from the basement to the old jail located at the top of the courthouse, which makes access difficult and time consuming. The county’s population will continue to grow and the need for storage will be more necessary. A long-term solution and goal would be to find an appropriate off-site storage facility that will allow for growth. The storage of these records is not only important for the circuit clerk’s office, but to better serve the public as well.

What sets you apart from the other candidates in the race?

Brown: The other candidate in this race happens to be the previous circuit clerk. If you look at all my accomplishments in the first year I was in office, I feel that our differences are very apparent.

I have only listed a few of the things I have done since being sworn into office. You can go to my personal website,, to view my complete list.

I am a member of the Arkansas County Circuit Clerks Association 2011/2012; committee member of the Lonoke County Republican Party since 2007; member of the Lonoke Apostolic Church since 1998; instructor for Alcohol Chemical Treatment Series and parenting classes since 2007. I was voted the 2011 Republican Woman of the Year, and I was the chairperson of the Lonoke Single Parent Scholarship Fund in 2010.

I feel that any elected position is a position of service to our citizens, not just a job. I am first and foremost a public servant.

Oglesby: My experience sets me apart from my opponent. I have 16 years proven experience in the Lonoke County Circuit Clerk’s Office and already know the duties and responsibilities of the office. I am dedicated to serve all of Lonoke County with respect and dignity.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Jacksonville numbers up for spring football

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville football team had a lively first week of spring practice, and a lot of players by Jacksonville standards. Over 60 players participated and if those numbers hold, that could mean a little more depth than the Red Devils have enjoyed the last several seasons.

One position that seems to have lots of depth is the quarterback position. Six players have taken snaps in practice, and all have played well.

“We’ve never had this many kids show real promise at quarterback,” Jacksonville coach Rick Russell said. “Of course you can’t have six quarterbacks, but it’s nice to know you’ve got some depth.”

Kevin Richardson is the frontrunner for the starting quarterback position. He showed his first real promise during summer team camp at ASU-Jonesboro last year, and had worked his way into sharing starting quarterback duties with departed Tirrell Brown by the end of last season.

Brown missed that camp for AAU basketball. Richardson ran the team well, as did his backup Aaron Smith, who is also battling for the job this year.

“Aaron has done some nice things for us so far too,” Russell said. “Kevin is the one who you’d think would be poised to step in, but the job isn’t won right now. K-Rich is working hard and doing all the right things though. His throwing mechanics are getting better and better.”

Jacksonville had a large senior class last year and played mostly seniors. Even some of the upperclassmen have limited varsity experience. That means spring practice this year again focused largely on teaching the system.

“All practice this year has been primarily focused on offense,” Russell said. “Getting these younger guys and less experienced guys to catch on to what we’re doing is priority. We had a really good practice today (Monday). They’re eager to learn. Just look out there now.”
Russell motioned to the 12 to 15 players still on the practice field running routes or getting tips from position coaches.

“That’s what this group has been like and that’s how I hope it stays. That’s the kind of group that makes you love being out here.”

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers enjoying largest senior class

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers have about 65 players out for spring practice, and that doesn’t include most of next season’s sophomore class. Standard practice for Cabot is to go through spring drills with just the upcoming junior and senior class, but three freshmen were brought along for spring drills this season. Once summer two-a-days begin and the sophomore class joins in full, it could be one of the largest teams in Cabot’s history.

“This is the largest senior class we’ve ever had,” Cabot coach Mike Malham said. “We’ve got 65 or so out here right now so we’ll have quite a few.”

There are 35 juniors on the squad for spring practice, but it’s the sophomores that make up the majority of the offense. Six sophomores started or saw significant time on the offensive line last season. They all project to be starters next year. Zach Launius was the team’s fastest player last year as a sophomore, and will be the starting fullback in the upcoming season.

“He’s pretty quick and pretty strong,” Malham said of Launius.

Kason Kimbrell is getting the first-team repetitions at quarterback with William Bell getting the second team reps.

“Kimbrell’s working with the first team but Bell has looked pretty good,” Malham said.

Zach Thompson, who played in the offensive backfield as a junior last year, has spent most of his time this spring working at linebacker. He’s joined by about six other juniors on the starting defensive rotation, as well as several sophomores and one freshman.

“We’ve got three freshmen we brought over,” Malham said. “Jake Ferguson is one of them who’s working with the secondary and he looks pretty good.

“We played a lot of sophomores last year, especially on offense,” Malham said. “They’re all pretty set in their starting positions. The offensive starters are pretty much set for two years.”

Seniors will lead the way on defense, with seven upperclassmen holding starting positions.

“Defensively I think we’re a lot better right now than we were last year,” Malham said. “And that’s a plus because we were bad on defense last year. It got better. We were playing a lot of young guys there too and hopefully that experience will pay dividends for us this year and next year.

The Panthers have scrimmaged a lot this spring, and will finish up spring practice with scrimmages today and tomorrow. Five players have missed one or more practices due to mostly minor injuries and illnesses.

“It’s been pretty good,” Malham said. “They’ve come out and got after it. Got a few a little banged up because they’re going pretty hard.”

SPORTS STORY >> ASU’s Malzahn stops in Beebe

Leader sportswriter

It didn’t take long for football fans to single out the bespectacled man wearing the black visor as he made his way down the hallway of the ASU-Beebe Student Center.

New Arkansas State University head football coach Gus Malzahn made an appearance at ASU-Beebe on Tuesday afternoon for a meet and greet with local fans.

The head Red Wolf was making the first of two stops in central Arkansas in the next several days. He will also be the guest speaker at the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club annual sports banquet next Wednesday at the Jacksonville Community Center.

Malzahn, a native of Fort Smith, is already a legendary figure in the state of Arkansas for his innovative offensive philosophies, many of which have been borrowed by high-school and college teams around the country, as well as many professional teams.

The assembled group at Beebe ranged from campus employees to bank personnel, as well as the entire Beebe High School football team. Beebe coach John Shannon had an extended conversation with Malzahn at the beginning of the meet-and-greet segment, which was followed by a brief speech from Malzahn.

The new head Wolf boasted the University’s recruiting efforts over the spring, and listed a number of top-ranked recruits who decided to join the ASU ranks.

Malzahn also said the acquisition of Little Rock native and former Auburn star Michael Dyer would bring even more attention to the program, and mentioned the possibility of Dyer being in the hunt for the Heisman Trophy award.

“We’re going to recruit this state, and we’re going to recruit this state hard,” Malzahn said. “Our goal is to be a top 25 team, year in and year out.”

Malzahn also talked about the recent A-State Ambush recruiting blitz, where members of the coaching staff visited all 215 high schools with football teams in the state in the span of a week.

“We did that for a couple of reasons,” Malzahn said. “First of all, to identify players, but also to develop relationships. We want to give everyone ownership in what we’re doing.”

The ASU job is the first time Malzahn has worked in state since his high-profile departure from the University of Arkansas as the Razorbacks’ offensive coordinator in 2006 under former head coach Houston Nutt. Malzahn made no direct reference to the U of A, but did sum up his speech by insinuating Red Wolves Nation is on the rise.

“I’m a dreamer; I want our players to be dreamers, I want our fans to dream,” Malzahn said. “Because here’s the deal, we want to make Arkansas State a statewide program. Not just northeast Arkansas, not just Jonesboro, because we’re going to recruit this state. We want to be a program the whole state can take pride in. And hey, this state is big enough for two programs.”

SPORTS STORY >> Jackrabbits beat Bruins in12

Leader sports editor

HARRISON — The Lonoke Jack-rabbits shocked everyone in Harrison on Saturday when they came from behind to force extra innings, and eventually knocked off favored Pulaski Academy 8-7 in a 12-inning semifinal game that lasted nearly four hours. The win earned Lonoke a trip to the class 4A state championship game at Baum Stadium on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Lonoke centerfielder Guy Halbert was the first batter to the plate in the top of the 12th inning. He faced Bruin pitcher Baker Helton for the second time. Helton started the game, and because of depleted pitching, was also the fourth Bruin reliever. He wishes he had his first relief pitch back. Halbert crushed Helton’s first offering in the 12th, sending down the third baseline and over the fence to give Lonoke an 8-7 lead. It was the only hit of the inning for either team, but it was enough for Lonoke reliever Blake Gooden, who got three-straight pop ups in the bottom of the inning to seal the victory and secure the Jackrabbits’ spot in Saturday’s state championship game against Shiloh Christian.

All three Lonoke wins in the state tournament were come-from-behind victories.

“They just keep battling,” Lonoke coach Darrick Lowery said. “These guys just don’t have any quit in them. I can’t even say how proud I am of these guys.”

While Halbert’s home run was the game winner, if the tournament ended with that game, Gooden would be the Most Valuable Player. In three state tournament games, he has 10 base hits in 12 official at bats. He went 3 for 4 Saturday, was hit by a pitch, intentionally walked, scored three runs, stole three bases and recorded two RBIs. He also pitched four innings of one-hit relief and got the win on the mound.

“He’s just been outstanding,” Lowery said of Gooden. “He’s done it all for us all year. He’s caught fire in this tournament and come through for us in a big way.”

The whole team caught fire in the tournament late in round one when it erased a 9-3 deficit to beat Gentry 10-9. The team carried that momentum to a 7-2 win over Dumas in the quarterfinals, but all that momentum almost came to a screeching halt in the first inning on Saturday.

The Jackrabbits committed three errors and gave up three unearned runs to blow a quick 2-0 lead it built in the top half of the inning. In all, Lonoke committed seven errors against the Bruins.
“It sure wasn’t like the last game when we didn’t commit any errors,” Lowery said. “But we battled back. Every time we gave something up we battled right back and got back in it. We never let it get too far out of hand.”

If only earned runs counted, Lonoke would have won the game 6-2, but PA got five unearned runs thanks to Lonoke mistakes.

After five innings, Pulaski Academy held a 7-4 lead. Lonoke had to battle to tie it and force extra frames. In the top of the sixth, starting pitcher and leadoff hitter Garrett Spears singled to left field with one out. He stole second base and moved to third in a groundout by Shane Pepper. With two outs, Gooden singled to drive in Spears. He stole second and third base, then scored on a passed ball to make it 7-6. The tying run in the top of the seventh was one of the most exciting plays in baseball. Lonoke catcher Madison James singled to right field to start things off. His courtesy runner Nick Graves stole second base.

Halbert then singled to centerfield. 23 rounded third intent on trying to beat the throw to home plate. The throw reached PA catcher Hunter Freeman before Graves did, but the throw was slightly high. Graves executed a beautiful headfirst belly slide just underneath the tag for the tying run.

Neither team threatened from that point until the bottom of the ninth when the Bruins got their best and fastest player on base with no outs. Pulaski Academy’s Blake Wiggins was hit by a pitch and stole second and third base with no outs. The game is over if Wiggins crosses the plate, but James makes two great plays behind the plate, one of which saved the game.

Gooden got Freeman to pop up to James for the first out, keeping Wiggins at third. Lawson Vassar then grounded out to shortstop, also holding Wiggins. On the next at bat, Gooden threw a wild pitch in the dirt, but James made a game-saving stop, blocking the throw on the bounce, taking it off his chest protector and keeping it in front of him. Max Mehaffy then grounded to short for the third out that kept Lonoke alive.

“That play was huge,” Lowery said of Jame’s stop. “He’s been great for us all year. I think he’s at least the best catcher in our conference.”

Helton started but pitched only two innings, but he re-entered in the 12th and took the loss. Spears went four and two-thirds for Lonoke and turned in a great performance, but five of Lonoke’s six errors took place behind him.

He gave up six hits, struck out four, walked two and gave up just two earned runs, though he left the game trailing 7-4.

Lonoke got 11 base hits to PA’s seven. Gooden and Halbert led the Jackrabbits with three hits each. James got two base hits while Spears, Lane Moore and Reid McKenzie got one base hit apiece. Chris Hayes led the Bruins with three base hits while Wiggins got two and reached base four times.

SPORTS STORY >> 2A baseball not Hamlet, Horatio dies in the end

Leader sportswriter

PINE BLUFF — Carlisle added to the long history of Taylor Field by clinching a spot in the 2A state finals for the first time ever with a 13-3 rout over Horatio in the semifinals on Saturday.

The Bison (29-6) battled wet, windy conditions, as well as a surging Lions relief pitcher in Josh Prowant, who shut down Carlisle from the top of the third until the top of the seventh after a blistering start for the visitors on the scoreboard.

Carlisle scored five runs in the first inning and added three more in the second inning before the bats came to a standstill in the third. Horatio threatened to come back with a three-run spree in the bottom of the fifth inning against what seemed to be a tiring starter in Carlisle’s Josh Mathis, but Mathis came back to life in the sixth inning and went the distance on the mound to help the Bison clinch the biggest victory in program history.

“We came out and hit it,” Bison coach B.J. Greene said. “I told the guys before the game started that we have not played a good game in the state tournament yet. We’ve snuck by two times in a row, we’ve not played a good game, and I told them that. I said, ‘These guys are a good ballclub, we need to come out and play,” and they did exactly that.”

Both teams came into the semifinals as No. 1 seeds with Carlisle representing the East Region and Horatio the South Region. Carlisle had its difficulties making it through the bracket with a 5-4 thriller over Gurdon in Thursday’s first round and another close 4-2 victory against Danville on Friday. The win over Danville marked the first time a Carlisle baseball team had reached the state semifinals, but Saturday’s triumph quickly eclipsed Friday’s milestone.

“Words can’t explain it,” Greene said of reaching the finals. “They had never been in the semifinals in baseball in Carlisle history, and now to say we’re in the finals, it’s a testament to our kids – finals in football and baseball. We’ve got great kids here at Carlisle.”

The Bison will face Wood-lawn, the No. 3 seed out of the South Region. The Bears beat Conway Christian 9-6 in the first round and routed Walnut Ridge 13-1 on Friday before edging Junction City 2-1 in the other semifinal game. The final is at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville on Saturday, with the 2A championship game set for 5:30 p.m.

Mathis’s heroics went back to the day before when he extended himself at first base to get the final out against Danville, but it also forced him to wear a wrap for Saturday. It did not impede his performance, however, as he struck out eight batters while giving up six hits. He also helped himself at the plate by going 3 for 4 and driving in two runs, including a double in the top of the seventh that scored Derick Herring to give the Bison a 9-3 lead and started a five-run spree.

“He’s done that all year,” Greene said. “I cannot say enough about how that kid performed. I told him in the middle of the year, ‘Chip, you’re going to win a big ballgame for us this year, and it doesn’t get any bigger than that.”

Chris Hart got things going for Carlisle in the top of the first inning when he led off with a single and advanced on a walk for Tommy Inman. Trey Wilson then singled to score Hart before cleanup hitter Herring walked to load the bases. Deron Ricks took one for the team with an off-target offering from Horatio starter Jordan Izzo, which scored Inman.

Dillon Brazaele increased the Bison lead to 4-0 with a single that scored Wilson and Herring, prompting the Lions to make a change on the mound.

Prowant’s start was equally shaky as the Bison scored one more in the opening frame with a sacrifice fly by Mathis that scored Ricks, and the Bison added three more scores during the next inning with singles from Inman, Wilson and Mathis.

“We went four innings without scoring,” Greene said. “And we were just chasing, chasing, getting away from everything that we talked about on how to approach these guys. We knew we had to get a few extra runs in that last inning just to have some security, because Chip (Mathis) had already thrown 102 pitches there. So, we had to have some security there, and they did a good job of coming up there and doing what they needed to do.”

The Bison got back on track offensively in the top of the seventh when Herring led off with a walk and advanced on a single by Ricks. Mathis then scored Herring with a double in the gap between left and centerfield, and Ricks came in soon after that on a passed ball. Mathis scored on a single grounder to center by Austin Reed to give the Bison an 11-3 lead.

Hart doubled to left and scored Reed, and Inman set the final margin with a single shot to right that scored Hart.

Hart was 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Inman was 2 for 3 with an RBI and Wilson was 2 for 4 with two RBI.