By Mark Humphrey
PRAIRIE GROVE -- Prairie Grove came up one run short in a 6-5 loss to Baptist Prep at the 4A State baseball tournament at Nashville Thursday.
A 5-run second inning did the Tigers in, although they held Baptist Prep scoreless for the remainder of the game. After the first inning the game was tied 1-1, and Prairie Grove added 3 runs in the top of the second to move ahead, 4-1. Catcher Couper Allen stroked a stand-up double to drive in 2 runs with no outs. The Tigers looked like they were poised to break open the game, but in a painful twist of fate Baptist Prep got out of the inning without giving up any more runs.
The Eagles exploded for 5 runs in the bottom half of the inning to capture a 6-4 lead. Five different players drove in runs for the Eagles in the game. Senior Brett Kernodle was 2-for-3. He scored the Eagles' first run in the bottom of the first and another during the second. The rest of the damage was all done by juniors. Nick Jones was 2-for-3. He doubled and scored a run. Luke Weaver (1-for-3) singled to drive in a run and took a base-on-balls. Tucker Robinson (1-for-3) singled to drive in a run. Riley Loyd (1-for-4) struck out twice, but drove in a pair of runs with a single in the second.
Prairie Grove found themselves playing catchup for the duration of the contest. Starting pitcher DJ Pearson settled in and would reach a 110-pitch count. Helping hold the Eagles without any more runs were relievers Garrett Heltemes and Chase Wade.
Wade gave the Tigers new life with his solo home run that pulled Prairie Grove within a run, at 6-5, with no outs in the top of the third, but the Tigers could not string together hits they needed and the score stayed that way until the end.
Sophomore Ben Devine earned the win for Baptist Prep. He pitched 4 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits with 2 base-on-balls and struck out 6 Tigers. All 4 Tiger runs came off Baptist Prep sophomore Jax Coleman, who allowed 2 hits and 3 base-on-balls.Sports on 05/16/2018
Print Headline: Eagles Deal Tigers State Tourney Loss