Manila scored six times in the third inning to rally from a 4-1 deficit and held on to beat Marmaduke 10-8 Monday night in the semi-finals of the 3A-3 District Tournament at Hoxie. The victory propelled the Lions into the finals Tuesday night against conference champion East Poinsett County, where the Warriors out-slugged Manila 11-6 to capture the championship as both teams advanced to the Class 3A Region 3 Tournament in Harrison.
Manila banged out 12 hits in Monday night's victory over the Greyhounds, led by Kyle Evans and Ross Malloy, who had three hits apiece. Evans finished a perfect 3-3, stole three bases, scored twice and had an RBI while Malloy was 3-4 with three stolen bases and two runs scored. Trey McCormick had a pair of hits, drove in a run, scored once and stole four bases while Luke McLaughlin went 2-3 with a pair of RBI's and a run scored.
Frankie Cowgill, who picked up the win, had a bases loaded triple in Manila's third inning rally. Chad Nunnally went 1-4 and drove in three runs while scoring once. Jace Elkins scored a pair of runs and stole three bases.
Cowgill pitched the first four innings, giving up four hits while striking out four and walking five. Cowgill gave up five runs, four earned. McCormick pitched two innings of no-hit ball but gave up three runs, one earned, while issuing a pair of walks. Nunnally pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, striking out a batter to gain the save.
EPC (27-4) jumped to an early 5-1 lead and never trailed in claiming the District Championship. Freshman Chris Maddox struck out seven while scattering seven hits to pick up the win for the Warriors. Brett Hardin pitched the final two innings to gain the save. Maddox led the Warriors at the plate with a pair of hits and two RBIs.
Michael Shedd pitched 5 1/3 innings and suffered the loss for the Lions. Shedd surrendered all 11 Warrior runs, but only six were earned. Shedd fanned three and walked six while giving up just five hits. Freshman southpaw Blake Wheeler pitched two thirds of an inning of one-hit shut-out baseball while Chad Nunnally pitched one perfect inning, striking out one.
Nunnally went 2-2 from the plate with a two-run double and scored a run. Jace Elkins went 2-4, scored once and stole a base. Frankie Cowgill had an RBI double but was ejected from the game for running into the catcher without sliding. Luke McLaughlin and Trey McCormick both singled and scored once while Jacob Britt had a single. Kyle Evans and Ross Malloy both scored runs.
"We came out ready to play tonight and really swung the bats well," said EPC Coach Brian Weathers. "We gave Chris a nice cushion and he just took it from there. Brett Hardin started the game off with a double and it just set the tone for the rest of the night."
"We made a pretty good run in the tournament, considering we had a play-in game," said Manila Coach Steve Milligan. "Our pitching finally wore down on us and it really hurt us when Frankie Cowgill was ejected. I thought he could have really helped us with some at-bats that might have made a difference in the game. But we kept battling and I was proud of that. We've been pretty good at that all season."