SPORTS >> Bears roll past Falcons
By CHAD MATCHETT
Special to The Leader
North Pulaski’s growing pains continued, while Sylvan Hills stayed perfect in conference action with a doubleheader sweep, 23-0 and 13-0, on Tuesday afternoon.
Sylvan Hills hit two grand slams in the first game as it improved to 10-4 and 4-0 in the 5A-East.
“North Pulaski is a really young team, so they’re going to get better,” Sylvan Hills coach Denny Tipton said. “They’ve got some young guys and a young coach, so they’ve got something to look forward to.”
Tuesday’s first game began innocently enough with the Bears scoring three runs in the first inning. It would be the second inning where the game quickly got out of hand.
After starter Jordan Spears struck out the side in the bottom of the first, the Bears batted around twice in the second while scoring 14 runs.
Michael Lock walked to start the inning, followed by a fly out to right field. The next 14 batters reached base safely for Sylvan Hills.
Leadoff batter Corey Arnold hit a grand slam in his second at-bat of the inning, while Lance Hunter’s two-run double was his second hit of the inning.
The Bears began playing station-to-station offense after taking such a large lead as the coaches held the runners to just one base regardless of where the ball was hit.
But even that act of sportsmanship couldn’t keep the Bears off the scoreboard in what became a prolific third inning.
Three consecutive hits were followed by a hit batter, an error deep in left field and, finally, Blake Rasdon mashing his third grand slam of the season.
Sylvan Hills has seven grand slams as a team this year.
While the offense was giving the Bears ace Spears more than enough support, it turned out the tall right-hander and UALR signee only needed the first run his teammates scored.
Spears gave up a single to Marshall Shipley in the first inning and another to T. Allen in the third, but didn’t allow the Falcons to put another ball into play.
The senior struck out the side in each inning to finish with nine strikeouts in a complete, three-inning victory. The game ended early thanks to the 15-runs-after- three innings rule.
Game two went a little better for North Pulaski, but the young Falcons were still held scoreless by Sylvan Hills starter Forrest Harrison.
The Bears started several reserves in the second game and were a little slower to put up runs in clusters, though Trey Sims led off the game with a home run.
Sylvan Hills scored three runs in the second inning to make it 4-0, and the Bears broke the game open in the third by batting around and scoring six runs.
Besides getting the victory, Forrest led the Bears in hitting in the second game with a single, double and pair of runs. Sims was the only other Bear with multiple hits.