Blake Wheeler's ninth inning walk-off home run propelled Manila to a dramatic 5-4 victory over Cave City in the semifinals of the 3A Regional Baseball Tournament Saturday afternoon at Tuckerman.
Wheeler finished the day 2-4 at the plate with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored. The senior also pitched eight strong innings on the mound before giving way to Taylor Morgan (4-2), who picked up the win, pitching the ninth inning. Wheeler fanned seven while issuing only one walk. The southpaw gave up three earned runs and scattered 11 hits while coming away with a no decision.
Zach Birmingham also had a pair of hits while scoring a run. Morgan and Tray Malone both picked up a hit apiece and scored one run each.
The Lions will play Piggott Monday afternoon for the 3A Regional Championship and a number one seed entering the 3A State Tournament which begins Friday at Bergman.
Manila reached the semifinals with a 5-2 come from behind victory over Yellville-Summit Friday afternoon. The Lions entered the bottom of the sixth inning tied 1-1 before loading the bases, bringing Blake Wheeler to the plate. Wheeler blasted a grand slam homer over the fence, giving the Lions a 5-1 lead.
Wheeler finished the day with a pair of hits and four RBIs. Tray Malone provided Manila with its only other run, drilling a solo homer in the bottom of the first. Malone went the distance on the mound to pick up the win. The senior right-hander pitched seven innings, allowing just two hits and two unearned runs. Malone fanned five batters.
The Lions entered the Regionals after capturing the District Championship Tuesday afternoon with a 3-1 victory over Tuckerman at Corning.
Blake Wheeler struck out 12 Bulldogs while going the distance to pick up the victory. The senior left-hander allowed only one earned run and four hits. Zach Birmingham slammed a two-run homer while Jeremy Goff added an RBI single to provide all the offense the Lions would need. Dillon Burrow finished 1-3 at the plate and scored a run.
Manila advanced to the District finals with an 11-6 victory over Piggott Monday afternoon behind Zach Birmingham's fifth inning grand slam homer. The Lions trailed 5-3 before Birmingham's blast gave Manila a two-run advantage.
Birmingham finished the day with five RBIs. Taylor Morgan added a home run and singled while Tray Malone picked up the victory on the mound.