Whatever happens with Batesville’s American Legion baseball teams, it will happen in a hurry.
The Medical Park Orthopaedic Clinic Doctors, Batesville’s Junior Legion representatives, are scheduled to open their season Thursday in Searcy with the first of 15 doubleheaders. The Zone 2 Tournament, the first step in the postseason, is set to begin July 3.
Billy Brannon, an all-district outfielder-pitcher for the Hillcrest Screamin’ Eagles, signed earlier this month to attend Crowley’s Ridge College and play baseball for the Pioneers.
Brannon, 6-foot-4, 175 pounds and a 2-year starter in Hillcrest’s outfield, has been accepted to the University of Arkansas-Monticello, but decided to start his college education at the 4-year school in Paragould for a number of reasons.
The Batesville Bassmasters will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at Triangle Sports, a change in its usual meeting location, said Micah Beard, vice president.
Brian Johnson and Dennis Scoggin teamed to win the club’s last tournament, held May 14 on Bull Shoals Lake. They weighed in 15.75 pounds.
Jim Starzy and Michael McDaniel caught 8.15 pounds for second place and B.J. Liles and Nick Reynolds had 7.21 pounds for third place.
Liles and Reynolds weighed in the biggest bass, of the day, a 5.09-pounder.
Batesville Lady Pioneer Maggie Beshears returned to the Class 5A All-State team for softball, even if she didn’t have the kind of numbers she would like to see.
“Maggie would say she has had a little bit of a down year, but I thought she had a fantastic season,” Batesville Coach Sean Coker said.
Eleven softball players from the Guard-circulation area were named to all-state rosters, according to a news release from the Arkansas Activities Association.
Of the 11, nine are first-time selections. Hillcrest’s Samantha Blevins and Southside’s Krysta Beeler are the returners. It’s Blevins’ third selection and Beeler’s second.
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. was out front on the final lap for the first time in 105 races, and the only thing standing in the way of a victory was the gas, or lack of it, in his tank.
The crowd roared as he took the white flag, the fans stomping in the stands in near hysteria over the almost certain ending of Earnhardt’s nearly three-year losing streak.
In a blink of an eye, it was over.
LITTLE ROCK — Batesville’s Betsy Tucker set a new state record when she crossed the finish line of the Rock Run 8K at Murray Park here Saturday.
Tucker, 54, finished the 4.97-mile race with a time of 34 minutes 56.78 seconds to set the 8K Grand Master record. Her pace of 7:02 per mile was a personal best.
Tucker didn’t start road racing until three years ago and this is her first year to compete in earnest. She has run in eight races since January 1 and won two.
Batesville High junior Tanner Ring was recently named to the Class 5A All-State team for baseball, and he’s part of the reason Coach Mark Rush has high hopes for the immediate future.
“The best part of the whole deal is we have not only Tanner, but the rest of these all-conference guys coming back next season,” the coach said.
Along with Ring, classmates Cody Vaughn, Ryan Coles and Hayden Cockrill were named to the 5A-East All-District team.
Six Guard-circulation area high school baseball players were recently named to Arkansas Activities Association all-state teams, and one of them is a 3-time selection.
Hillcrest senior Dylan Wooten accomplished the 3-peat on the Class 1A squad while helping the Screamin’ Eagles to a 16-7 record and the 1A 2-East District’s regular-season and tournament championship.
Jed Yarnell, a senior from Izard County, is another returner to the Class 1A team. Yarnell was an all-state selection last season.
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Arkansas took advantage of two wild pitches and two fielding errors by Mississippi State in a 7-2 win Thursday that eliminated the Bulldogs from the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.
The Razorbacks advance to this afternoon’s third-round game against the Alabama Crimson Tide, a 6-0 loser to Florida on Thursday afternoon. Alabama defeated Arkansas 7-4 in a first-round game Wednesday. (see other SEC tournament scores on page 18).
The first pitch for today’s Arkansas-Alabama game is 3.
Better than half of the Guard-circulation area track and field athletes earning all-state recognition this spring are proven talents.
None more so than Mollie Matthews. The Batesville Lady Pioneer senior collected her fourth straight all-state certificate as part of the winning 3,200-meter relay team at the Class 5A State Track and Field Meet.
All-state recognition goes to the athletes who win or place second in state meets (classes 7A, 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A) or the Meet of Champions.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cliff Lee drove in three runs and worked eight effective innings, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 10-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.
Raul Ibanez hit a 3-run homer, and Chase Utley also connected to help the Phillies take three of four from the Reds. The teams were playing with little rest following a 19-inning game ended at 1:19 a.m. Thursday, after 6 hours, 11 minutes and 600 pitches.
Lee (4-4) threw 114 pitches in eight innings. But the Arkansas native’s biggest contributions came at the plate.