GURDON - The pitching of Carson Smith and a nine-run third inning propelled the Arkadelphia Badgers by the host Gurdon Go-Devils 17-3 in five innings on Friday afternoon.
“We struggled at first and we tried to do too much early, but we started taking the walks and got base runners,” Arkadelphia head baseball coach Brant Matros said. “Sometimes you have to execute another way, but Carson came in and did a great job throwing strikes. He didn’t walk any body until late in the game. It was one of those wins you have to come and take care of business. If you play to their level you can end up getting beat.”
The Badgers picked up a single run in the top of the first inning when Matt Green drew a one-out walk and went to third base when Eric Groom reached on an error. Tanner Smith singled to left-center field to bring in Green, but Gurdon got a ground out to the pitcher and to the short stop to get out of the inning with Arkadelphia leading 1-0.
The Go-Devils went down in order on a strike out, a fly ball to center field and a ground out to second.
In the top of the second inning, With two outs, Maddox Breashears was hit by a pitch and stole second base. An overthrow to second allowed Breashears to advance to the plate. Alec Ruble walked and stole second. Green singled to left field to bring in Ruble and Groom followed with a base hit to center. Tanner Smith singled to left field to bring in Green to make it 4-0 Arkadelphia.
The Go-Devils went down in order in the bottom of the second inning on a strike out a fly ball to center field and a ground out to short.
The Badgers opened up the game in the top of the third inning. Josh Wallace led off with a walk, Turner Pentecost followed with a walk and River Melugin put down a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Breashears walked to bring in Wallace and Pentecost scored on a wild pitch. Green doubled to left-center to bring in two more runs. Ky Harrison walked and with one out, Alec Lewis singled to left-center bringing in two more runs. Cole Turner tripled to right field to bring in a run and scored when Foxx Ward hit a sacrifice grounder to short for the second out. Melugin reached on an error, Breashears singled and Ruble walked. Payton Edington, running for Melugin, was out at the plate to end the inning. Arkadelphia led 13-0.
The Go-Devils scratched out a run in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs, Austin Taylor walked and Caleb Jacobs drew a walk. Dillon Reece reached on an error and Josh Moore beat out an infield hit to score Taylor to make it 13-1.
Joe Rocole doubled to start the top of the fourth inning, but two fly ball outs and a strike out left him standing on second base. Reid Ledbetter walked and made it to third base when Garrin Orsburn was hit by a pitch with two outs and Taylor walked again to load the bases. A fly ball to right field ended the inning for Gurdon.
Matthew Parnham led off the top of the fifth inning for Arkadelphia with a walk. Ward walked and Edington singled to left field to bring in Parnham. Ian Manning drew a walk to re-load the bases and Ruble reached on an error that scored two runs. Green was hit by a pitch and Harrison hit into a fielder’s choice that brought in Manning to make it 17-1.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Gurdon got a two-out walk from Daniel Moreno. Ledbetter walked and Cole Harper doubled to left field to score Moreno. Garret White walked and Orsburn reached on an error that scored Ledbetter before the final out was made.