Mustangs edge Sloan Hendrix 5-4 to win 2A District title
Buffalo Island Central built a 4-0 lead before holding off a middle inning Sloan Hendrix rally to squeeze out a 5-4 win in the finals of the 2A District Baseball Tournament Friday afternoon at Marked Tree. The victory gave the Mustangs their first district title since 2005.
BIC struck for four runs in the bottom of the third inning. Kaleb Dublin got things started with a leadoff double and scored on an RBI single off the bat of Canon Walling to grab a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Andrew McFarlin ripped a two-run single to up the Mustang lead to 3-0. BIC capped off the four-run frame when Cory Turner drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.
The Greyhounds battled back, scoring three runs in the top of the fourth to pull within a run, but BIC answered in their half of the fourth with a run of their own. Chanse Rose started things with a single and moved to second on a base hit by Dublin. Walling advanced both runners into scoring position by laying down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Dax Hurst followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Rose, and giving BIC a 5-3 advantage.
Sloan Hendrix closed to within 5-4, scoring on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth, but Mustang starter Bryce Towery shut down the Greyhounds the rest of the way to give BIC the tournament championship.
Towery went the distance, allowing four runs, three earned, in picking up the win. The right hander allowed eight hits, fanned two and walked one.
Dublin singled, doubled and scored once. Rose had a pair of singles and scored a run while Hurst had a base hit, two RBI and a run scored. McFarlin drove in two runs with a base hit while Walling had an RBI single and a run scored. Towery crossed the plate once.
BIC came up big defensively, getting a pair of outstanding catches from Dublin and Walling in the outfield.
In the semifinals earlier Friday afternoon, the Mustangs rallied from a 5-1 deficit to defeat Salem 7-5. BIC led 1-0 after two innings before Salem fought back, scoring two in the third and three in the fourth to take a 5-1 lead. The Mustangs clawed back, getting a run in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the fifth to slice the Greyhound advantage to 5-4. BIC put three more on the board in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-5 lead and held on to advance to the finals.
McFarlin worked the first six innings to get the win, allowing five runs, all earned, on nine hits. The junior righty struck out nine and issued three base on balls. Towery came on in the seventh to pick up the save, allowing just one hit.
Logan Harrison singled, doubled, had two RBI and scored a run while Walling singled twice and scored three times to lead the BIC offense. Hurst delivered a two-run single and scored a run. Towery cracked an RBI single while Turner doubled and scored once. Chayse Carmichael also scored a run for the Mustangs.
BIC began the tournament with a 7-2 victory over Flippin Thursday afternoon. The Mustangs got four in the first and one in the second and never looked back in advancing to the semifinals.
Dublin pitched five innings to gain the victory. Dublin surrendered six hits and two runs, one earned, while striking out four on the day. McFarlin pitched the final two innings, shutting out Flippin on two hits.
McFarlin delivered at the plate with a single, a double, an RBI and a run scored. Walling had a pair of hits and scored twice while Hurst belted a two-run double. Dublin laced a single and scored a run. Rose singled and scored a run while Turner had an RBI. Both Towery and Carmichael scored runs.
BIC began the week with a 19-0 shutout at Marmaduke in their regular season finale. Dublin got the win, working three shutout innings of two-hit, five strikeout ball.
Carmichael singled, doubled, had four RBI and scored twice. McFarlin blasted a pair of doubles, drove in three runs and scored two times. Hurst and Walling singled, doubled, drove in three runs and scored three runs apiece. Towery singled, doubled, had two RBI and scored two runs. Harrison and Rose had two singles, two RBI and scored a pair of runs each. Connor McCord singled, Dublin scored twice while Turner crossed the plate once.
BIC will begin regional tournament play Thursday morning at Palestine Wheatley. The Mustangs will face Hazen in a 10 a.m. matchup.
In girls action, BIC saw its season come to a close as Cotter defeated the Lady Mustangs 10-4 in the first round of the district tournament Thursday at Marked Tree. The game was tied 2-2 entering the top of the sixth, but Cotter put together an eight run rally to take a 10-2 lead. BIC scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but could pull no closer.
The Lady Mustangs ended the regular season Tuesday with a 3-0 loss at Armorel.