The Carlisle Bison baseball team is headed back to the state tournament for the third consecutive season under a third head coach.
Despite being no-hit by Magnet Cove’s Conner Wells, the Bison knocked off the Panthers 2-0 in the first round of the Class 2A East Region tournament at Palestine on Friday.
Wells struck out 16 Bison batters but gave up single runs in the third and seventh innings.
In the third, Chance Richards led off with a walk and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Gordon. Jaden Daniels then scored in the top of the seventh on a wild pitch.
Carlisle pitcher Josh Mathis gave up only one hit in seven innings of work. He struck out 10 to get the win.
The Bison then fell to Palestine-Wheatley 7-0 in the semifinals Saturday.
The Patriots scored once in the first and six times in the third to account for the scoring.
Carlisle’s best scoring chance came in the top of the seventh. After a double play, Carlisle’s Bradley Elder doubled off the wall in left field but was stranded at second base to end the game.
The Bison then lost to Poyen 5-4 in the third-place game Monday.
Carlisle led 4-1 after two innings. Mathis led off the first with a solo homer. Jacob Gordon and Nick Schafer both scored in the first.
The Bison’s fourth run came in the second. Mathis singled and scored. However. Gordon was ejected for running over the Poyen catcher and will not be available for the state tournament first round game.
The Indians scored single runs in the third and fourth innings and twice in the sixth to lead 5-4. The Bison had a chance to tie in the top of the seventh but Dylan Brazeal was stranded at second base to end the game.
Carlisle will play Conway St. Joseph in the first round of the Class 2A state tournament Friday at 3 p.m. at Taylor Field in Pine Bluff. Carlisle previously played at Taylor Field in 2012 en route to playing in the Class 2A state title game under former coach B.J. Greene. The Bison played in the state tournament last year under former coach William Rountree. The Bison are currently coached by Jack Keith.