Leader Blues

Friday, March 27, 2009

SPORTS >> Bears go 3-1 in Memphis

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

MEMPHIS — The Sylvan Hills Bears lost a 10-4 lead in the sixth inning, then went on to lose their first game of the season at a tournament in Memphis last weekend.

The defending 6A champion Bears took a big lead into the sixth inning against Bartlett (Tenn.), pulled ace D.J. Baxendale, then gave up 12 runs on their way to a 16-10 loss. The Bears went on to win 3 of 4 games at the tourney to improve to 16-1 on the season.

Bartlett scored its 12 runs on just four hits, while receiving five walks and benefiting from three hit batters and two errors.

The Bears, behind home runs from Nathan Eller and Justin Treece, raced to leads of 6-0 and 10-4. Eller was 3 of 5 in the contest, while Baxendale was 3 of 4 with a double. Treece, Tyler Van Schoyck and Jordan Spears each added two hits.

The Bears opened the tournament with a 12-2 cruise past Arlington (Tenn.) behind six solid innings from winning starter Eller. Eller allowed only three hits and struck out three.

Sylvan Hills needed only seven hits to pile up 12 runs, scoring four in the third and six more in the fifth. Treece led the way, going 3 of 4 with a double, while Eller also had a double.

After falling to Bartlett, Sylvan Hills got back on track by squeezing out a 5-4 win over Blackmon High of Murfreesborough. Mike Maddox led off the seventh inning of a 4-4 tie with a single and eventually came around to score the go-ahead run. Eric McKinney struck out the side in relief in the seventh to close out the win.

Spears pitched six solid innings of four-hit ball to pick up the win.

The Bears jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first on a walk to Eller and Baxendale’s double.

Though they fell behind 2-1, they tied it in the fourth on Blake Baxendale’s single, a wild pitch and Maddox’s RBI single.

Back-to-back home runs by D.J. Baxendale and Spears put Sylvan Hills up again, 4-2 in the sixth. But Blackmon tied it on a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning.

Sylvan Hills picked up six hits — two each by D.J. Baxendale and Maddox.

The Bears closed out tournament play last Saturday with an 8-2 win over Collierville (Tenn.). D.J. Baxendale picked up the win, while Treece went 3 of 3 with two doubles. Sylvan Hills, which scored four in the third and two each in the fourth and fifth, collected 10 hits.

The Bears began play in the Conway tournament last night after Leader deadlines.