West All-Stars take second in tourney
The northeast Arkansas West Nine Year old All-Stars placed second in the Cal Ripken District I Tournament held in Blytheville July 5-7. They went on to take third in the State Tournament held July 10-16 in Paragould falling just short of a trip to the Regional Tournament July 18-24 in Gulfport, Miss.
The NEA West Nine Year Olds defeated NEA East 11-1 in their opening game of District Tournament play on July 5 but were defeated by eventual tournament champions, Jonesboro, 11-4 in their second game.
The NEA West beat Blytheville 12-2 on July 6 to advance to the championship game against Jonesboro on July 7 Jonesboro won the title game 12-2 but both teams advanced to state tournament play.
In the opening round of state tournament play, the NEA West team defeated Sububan-Fort Smith 15-8. Michael Reed led the west with three hits and three runs scored. Christopher Metcalf had two hits, Andrew Guiltner added a home run, a base hit and a pair of runs and Hunter Bratten and Andrew Coy scored two runs each.
NEA West then defeated state tournament host Paragould 14-12. The West All-Stars started a six run first inning with singles by Bratten, Metcalf and Spencer Elder. Andrew Shipman doubled with one out to score two runs. Taylor Ozbun singled to bring home another run and Coy tripled to add one more run. The West added two more runs in the second inning behind Shipman's single, then added three more runs in the third due to Bratten's two-run, bases loaded double. Metcalf led off the fifth with a single, advanced to second on a walk, stole third and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Matthew Mann. Shipman led the NEA with three hits, three RBI's and two runs scored; Metcalf had three hits and three runs scored; Bratten had two hits and three RBI's and Elder added two hits and three runs scored.
NEA West lost to Batesville 6-0, then fell to Tri-County of Charleston 9-1 to end their hopes of making it to the Regional Tournament.
The West All-Stars were coached by Lee Bratten, who was assisted by Gene Metcalf and Travis Sherman. Team members are Lake City's Matthew Mann, Bay's Dustin Pierce, Hunter Bratten, Christopher Metcalf, Zeke Turley, Taylor Ozbun, Jackson Sitz, and Andrew Guiltner, all from Valley View, and Andrew Coy, Andrew Shipman, Spencer Elder, and Michael Reed, all from Brookland.