Indians, Warriors punch tickets to state tourney
The Marked Tree Indians and EPC Warriors both qualified for the Class 2A state baseball tournament to be held in White Hall this weekend by finishing third and fourth respectively in the Class 2A North Regional tournament held this past weekend in Marked Tree.
EPC was the first to gain a spot in the state tournament as they topped the number one seed from 2A-2 region Salem 16-1 this past Friday. Caleb Harston got the win for the Warriors going all seven innings. He allowed five hits while striking out seven and walking one. Cayne Tyler and McKenzie Betts both drove in four runs on two hits apiece, Josh Skipper had a hit and three RBIs and Harston helped his own cause by hitting a solo home run. Ace Price had a big day in the field from his right field position. Price had three put outs as he threw runners out at first, third and home on the day. EPC's win advances them to play Marmaduke in round 2.
Host Marked Tree posted an 11-0 win over White County Central in their opening round game to secure their trip to the state tournament. Jagger McCrary tossed a one-hitter for the Indians as he struck out eight and walked two. Gunner Pitts led the Indians offensively with two hits, two RBIs and four stolen bases. Dylan Hunt added two RBIs, Bryant Anderson drove in a run and McCrary had a RBI double. Marked Tree moves on to play Walnut Ridge in the second round.
EPC and Marmaduke played the first semi-final game this past Saturday as the Greyhounds rallied late to post a 4-3 win. EPC jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second as Aaron Scales and Byron Scales both plated runs for the Warriors. A. Scales drew a bases loaded walk to score Betts before his brother Byron did the same to score Josh Skipper. Marmaduke got a run across in the bottom of the second to make the score 2-1. EPC added a run in the top of the third as J. Skipper led off the inning with a single. Corbin Truelove advanced pinch runner Chandler Smith to third with a nice hit and run play before A. Scales plated Smith with an RBI single to put EPC up 3-1. Marmaduke tied the game up it the bottom of the sixth as they scored three runs. Marmaduke scored a run on a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh to win the game. B. Scales took the loss for the Warriors as he pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up three runs on four hits as he struck out three and walked eight. Betts pitched one inning giving up one run on one hit with no walks or strikeouts. The Scales brothers led the Warriors at the plate. Aaron had a hit and two RBIs with Byron recording a hit and a RBI. Betts, J. Skipper and Truelove each scored a run.
Marked Tree squared off against Walnut Ridge in the second semi-final game of the day. The Indians got out early scoring a run in the top of the first. Taylor Wages led off with a double and came in to score on a RBI single from Pitts. The Bobcats answered in their half as they plated a run to tie the game up after one inning of play. Marked Tree scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead in the top of the second. Brandon Adamson opened the inning with a double. Bailey Gilbert reached on an error and Brody McCrary reached on a fielder's choice as Adamson scored. Thadious Moore moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt. Wages scored Gilbert with a base hit and B. McCrary scored on a passed ball. Walnut Ridge cut the lead to one at 4-3 with runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings. Jagger McCrary reached second on an overthrow of first on his ground ball to the short stop. J. McCrary advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch to make the score 5-3 Marked Tree. The wheels came off for the Indians in the bottom of the sixth as Walnut Ridge exploded for seven runs to take a 10-5 lead. The Indians were retired in order in the top of the seventh to end the game. Wages took the loss for the Indians as the pitched 5 1/3 innings giving up eight runs on eight hits. He struck out two and walked six. J. McCrary gave up one run on two hits while not recording an out. B. McCrary pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up one run on one hit while walking three.
Marked Tree and EPC met this past Monday in the consolation game of the tournament. Bubba Phillips threw a five-inning no-hitter as the Indians blanked the Warriors 10-0. Phillips didn't allow walks and struck out three. Wages and Pitts led Marked Tree at the plate with Wages collecting three hits, two RBIs and scoring a run as Pitts had a RBI and scored a run.
Marked Tree (26-9) will open play in the state tournament Thursday at 2:30 as they play Hackett. EPC (17-17) will play at noon Thursday against Magazine.