For the second time in 7A/6A-West play, Van Buren shook off a disappointing opening game to earn a split.
Brad Eversole tossed a two-hitter over six innings as the Pointers beat Springdale Har-Ber 5-3 at Riggs Memorial Field Wednesday. In the opener, Har-Ber’s Weston Rogers tossed six innings of one-hit ball while the Wildcats (6-3, 1-3) pounded out 13 hits in a 11-0 whipping of the Pointers (5-7, 2-2).
“We were determined to come out and compete better in the second game,” Van Buren coach David Loyd said. “Give Har-Ber credit because they can hit the ball and they got on us in the first game. But I was proud of the way we rallied and played to get a win.”
Jake Bogner, who paced the Pointers’ offense in the nightcap with two hits, led off the bottom of the first with a double. He came around to score on Spencer Rapin’s single which gave the Pointers the lead it would never relinquish.
Bogner then drove in another run in the second. Zed Steinmetz walked and Aaron Jones bunted him to second. Bogner’s single to center plated Steinmetz for a 2-0 Van Buren lead.
Two more runs, without a hit, in the third gave the Pointers a commanding 4-0 lead. Rapin was hit by a pitch followed by walks to Eversole and Hunter Hogan to load the bases with no outs. Consecutive sacrifice flies by Dalton Kelley and Steinmetz scored the runs in the inning.
After the Wildcats got a run in the fourth, Van Buren got a unearned run in the fifth thanks to a pair of walks and a throwing error, all with two outs.
“We scratched and clawed to get a few runs in,” Loyd said. “With the bases loaded a no outs, you have got to get those runs home. We like to bunch a few hits, but those fly outs with less than two outs are just as good as a hit.”
Har-Ber tried to rally late, getting a pair of runs with two outs in the top of the seventh on an RBI triple by Brady Patrick and a run-scoring hit by Matt Garrison to cut the Pointer lead to 5-3. Eversole, though, finished off the game by striking out Gus Vitt.
After getting swept by Rogers Heritage two weeks ago, Har-Ber coach Randy Salsbury said winning the opening game was important.
“Today’s play (the first game) was a carry over of the way we played last week in Little Rock,” Salsbury said.
Har-Ber opened the game with a six-run outburst in the first inning as 10 Wildcats batted in the frame. Alex Schemel had a two-run hit while Caleb Gray and Zach Stanley each had RBI hits as well.
While the Har-Ber offense established control of the game, Rogers never let Van Buren mount any serious threat on offense.
After giving up a single to Bogner to start the Pointers’ at-bat in the bottom of the first inning, Rogers then retired 16 straight batters until surrendering a walk to Aaron Jones in the bottom of the sixth.