HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Conference 5A South went from a one-team race to a wide open competition Tuesday after Arkansas High beat the league’s previous unbeaten Lakeside Rams, 5-3.
The Razorbacks (6-10, 4-1) are now tied with Lakeside and Lake Hamilton for first place. Lake Hamilton edged El Dorado Tuesday night, 2-1.
“This is a huge win for us, those guys were undefeated in conference,” said an elated Layne Berry. “They beat Sheridan, and Sheridan beat us. We’re all right there in the hunt now. Lakeside is a tough place to play. It’s huge winning here. It started with Ty Waid on the mound. Ty had command of his pitches, walking only two or three. If we can do that, we can win.”
Waid scattered eight hits, walking three and striking out seven. He left the game in the seventh after reaching his pitch limit (115) with a runner on first, and nobody out.
Bishop changes Conference 5A South race
Senior Braylon Bishop, already a hero at the plate, took over and retired the next three batters, two on strikeouts.
“We competed the entire game,” said Berry. “It was great to see Bishop come in the last inning and shut them down. We had some scoring opportunities wasted because we didn’t put the ball in play.
“This win could be a turning point for us. At the beginning of the season we listened to what people around town said. They were talking about how good we were going to be. We do have five guys committed to DI schools. That got in our head, and we were just going through the motions. If you don’t take care of business the baseball gods will humble you quick.”
Rogers, Killian had Rams on top early
Lakeside (11-2, 4-1) build an early 1-0 lead in the first. Ethan Rogers drove in the Rams’ first run with a single to center in the second. The Razorbacks answered in the second with a leadoff single by Darby Sawyer. He stole second, and moved up on a grounder, scoring on Ryan Wardlaw’s sacrifice fly.
Chris Killian singled to left in the third, eventually scoring on a wild pitch to put the Rams on top, 2-1.
Arkansas High captured the lead in the fifth on run-scoring hits by Graydon Martin and Bishop. Now it was Lakeside’s turn to answer. Ethan Cevela walked with two outs. Waid also issued a free pass to Andrew Cox before giving up a tying hit.
Bock says Rams must reset, refocus
“I thought we came out a little slow; we didn’t come out like we should,” said Lakeside coach Garrett Bock. “Texarkana has a fantastic team. They played good defense today, and their arm (Waid) was great. Their record is not who they are. They’re starting to play right at the right time. Bishop hurt us, and that’s why he’s a great player. He hit our mistakes, and he’s going to do that for a very long time.
“We’ve got to reset, refocus, and get back to work. I can’t say we competed as well as I’ve seen us, but we had runners on base every inning. We hung around, and we fielded the ball alright. Their nine hole player (Luke Paxton) is a very good player, and we kept him off base.”
The decisive runs scored in the sixth against sophomore Wyatt Gibson. Sawyer was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. Berry brought Gage Brock in to run for Sawyer, and Brock raced to third on Wardlaw’s single to right. Brock then raced home on a wild pitch. Wardlaw ended up scoring on Shane Sutton’s sacrifice fly to left.