Leader Blues

Friday, July 14, 2006

SPORTS >> Sylvan Hills gets huge playoff win

By JASON KING
Leader staff writer

IN SHORT: The Sylvan Hills Class A team defeated Little Rock Blue Friday to avoid elimination from the state tournament at North Little Rock’s Burns Park.

Sylvan Hills was sent to the losers bracket in the first round of the Class A American Legion state tournament at Burns Park with an opening loss to North Little Rock 12-10 in eight innings, but rebounded on Friday to take a 7-4 win over Little Rock Blue.

The Bruins made up a three-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh to take North Little Rock into extra innings in Thursday’s opener. The Colts led 7-4 heading into the last inning, but a double from T.C. Squires bounced off the centerfield wall, and brought in runs from Cody Wood, Hunter Miller and Ross Bogard to tie the game.

After an impressive rally to force extra innings, Sylvan Hills suffered its worst defensive performance of the game in the top of the eighth. The Colts came away with five runs off of four hits and the only Sylvan Hills’ error of the game in the inning, putting the Bruins in an even deeper hole than the one they faced an inning earlier.

For a moment in the bottom of the eighth, it looked as if the Bruins might pull off the unthinkable, making up three of the five runs to pull them back to within a couple of scores of the Colts. Starting pitcher Kyle Thompson was relieved by Brandon Von Ohlan, but Sylvan Hills blasted two hits off the fresh pitcher to make the score 12-10. Von Ohlan finally got a handle on things, with a strikeout on Bogard and a 5-3 groundout from Chris Dalton to retire the stubborn Bruins.

Friday’s matchup with Blue was all Sylvan Hills, with the exception of the fifth inning. Little Rock made up all but one of a four-run deficit in the bottom of the fifth; shrinking a 5-1 Bruins lead down to 5-4 with three hits off of starting SH pitcher Chris Dalton. Dalton went on to take the win, with Brandon Chastain throwing the final two innings to earn the save.

The Bruins did the majority of their offensive damage in the top of the second inning. An E7 on a pop fly allowed Dalton on base to start the inning, and T.C. Squires put the first points on the the board for Sylvan Hills with a two-run home run over the left field wall. Jessie Everett drove home the next run in with a double to center that scored Cody Cormier. Blake Rix came in on a sacrifice grounder from Cody Wood.

Hunter Miller got the last hit of the inning for Sylvan Hills with a double ground ball down the third base line to score Everett. The stout performance in the second gave the Bruins a comfortable 5-0 heading into the third inning.

Nathan Longilotti put Blue’s first run down in the bottom of the second, driving in James Monhead with a single to center.

The Bruins held the four-run advantage until the bottom of the fifth, when the Blue bats finally started to light up.

A single, a hit by pitch and a double led to the first run for Little Rock to start the turn. A single to left from Hunter Senter scored the second run of the inning, and Taylor Brown tagged up on a sacrifice fly from Tim Watson for the final run to bring Blue within one at 5-4.

Sylvan Hills needed more runs for insurance and to keep the momentum. Those runs came in the top of the six with a run from Miller on a Little Rock error, and a score from Ross Bogard off another error after a single from Dalton. Those runs set the final margin of the game, as relief SH pitcher Chastain retired the final six Little Rock batters of the game to secure the win.

Sylvan Hills finished with seven runs, seven hits and one error. Little Rock had four runs, 10 hits and five errors. Everett was 2 for 5 with a double and a RBI; Miller was 2 for 4 with a double and RBI. Dalton finished 1 for 2 with a RBI and Squires was 1 for three with a home run and two RBIs.

Friday’s matchup with Blue was all Sylvan Hills, with the exception of the fifth inning.

Little Rock made up all but one of a four-run deficit in the bottom of the fifth, shrinking a 5-1 Bruins lead down to 5-4 with three hits off of starting SH pitcher Chris Dalton.

Dalton went on to take the win, with Brandon Chastain throwing the final two innings to earn the save.

The Bruins did the majority of their offensive damage in the top of the second inning. An E7 on a pop fly allowed Dalton on base to start the inning, and T.C. Squires put the first points on the board for Sylvan Hills with a two-run home run over the left field wall. Jessie Everett drove home the next run with a double to center that scored Cody Cormier. Blake Rix came in on a sacrifice grounder from Cody Wood.

Hunter Miller got the last hit of the inning for Sylvan Hills with a double ground ball down the third base line to score Everett. The stout performance in the second gave the Bruins a comfortable 5-0 lead heading into the third inning.

Nathan Longilotti put Blue’s first run down in the bottom of the second, driving in James Monhead with a single to center.

The Bruins held the four-run advantage until the bottom of the fifth, when the Blue bats finally started to light up.

A single, a hit by pitch and a double led to the first run for Little Rock to start the turn. A single to left from Hunter Senter scored the second run of the inning, and Taylor Brown tagged up on a sacrifice fly from Tim Watson for the final run to bring Blue within one at 5-4.

Sylvan Hills needed more runs for insurance and to keep the momentum. Those runs came in the top of the six with a run from Miller on a Little Rock error, and a score from Ross Bogard off another error after a single from Dalton.

Those runs set the final margin of the game, as relief SH pitcher Chastain retired the final six Little Rock batters of the game to secure the win.

Sylvan Hills finished with seven runs, seven hits and one error. Little Rock had four runs, 10 hits and five errors. Everett was 2 for 5 with a double and a RBI.

Miller was 2 for 4 with a double and RBI. Dalton finished 1 for 2 with a RBI and Squires was 1 for three with a home run and two RBIs.