CONWAY, Ar. – Top-ranked Lonoke (29-2) won the 4A State Baseball Championship Friday morning at Bear Stadium on the campus of Central Arkansas University.
That title did not come without a scare from Ashdown (18-12). Trailing 6-0 in the seventh inning, the Panthers had the potential tying run at the plate when winning pitcher Steele Eaves retired Caleb Blankenship for a 6-3 victory.
Grayson Porter led off with a triple to deep right-center to start the Panthers’ seventh. Braiden Walton reached on an infield error with Porter scoring. Walton advanced to second on the miscue. Gunnar Altenbaumer followed with a double to deep right. Pinch-hitter Garrett Von Thomas singled to left, making it 6-2.
Walt Jones was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Blankenship singled to left, scoring Altenbaumer. Derek Hilton forced Blankenship to end the game.
Eaves winning pitcher for Lonoke
Eaves went the distance for the win. He allowed five hits, four in the seventh. Eaves walked none and struck out 11. Jaxson Ingle led the winners at the plate with three hits and 5 RBI. He scored twice. Blankenship led Ashdown with his triple and a single.
Walt Jones was the losing pitcher. He allowed three hits and four earned runs in four innings, walking three and striking out five. Porter pitched final two innings.
Both teams had one error.