Manila Jr. High baseball finishes District Champions
Manila junior high baseball finished an outstanding season winning the District championship and ending the season with a 17-1 overall record.
The District Tournament was held in Walnut Ridge May 10-12.
The Manila Junior Lions received a bye in the first round and defeated Pocahontas 9-1 in the second round on the way to the championship.
Mason Mullen was the winning pitcher against Pocahontas with seven strike outs and one walk. Luke Beach was the relief pitcher throwing one inning with two strike outs, no walks and no hits.
Jake Baltimore hit an inside park home run for the game with Dax Davison and Drew Dogan going two for three each.
The win took the team to the final four with both the semi and final games played the same day on May 12.
The Manila Lions defeated Walnut Ridge 8-1 with Davison throwing a complete game. He had nine strike outs.
Coach Jason Crane said Dax threw a great game and the team had a big fourth inning scoring five runs.
Drew Dogan and Tanner Miller had two for two each at the bat. One of the big plays of the fourth was a safety squeeze with Tanner laying down a perfect bunt and was safe at first and the team was able to score on the play.
In the championship game the Lions took on the Gosnell Pirates finishing on top 10-4.
Jake Baltimore threw a complete game with four strike outs and three walks.
Jaron Burrow went 2 for 3 with a double and Drew Dogan went 2 for 3.
“One key to the tournament was we did not strike out at all in three games,” Coach Crane said. “They put the ball in play and kept the pressure on the defense. All year our guys really took their two strike approach serious. We always tried to be aggressive but smart on the bases, and we rally worked hard on our glove work every day.
“We have had a great year. We are moving a lot of talent up to the ninth grade but I feel like we have seventh graders ready to take on bigger roles next year. It has been a special season going 17-1.”
The team took their only loss early in the season.
“We feel like Manila baseball is heading in a good direction,” Coach Crane said.
Serving as assistant coach is Jeff Goff.