The Carlisle Bison got a strong pitching performance from senior right hander Chris Hart and timely hitting as they knocked off Class 4A Heber Springs 7-3 at Rockefeller Park on March 7.
The Panthers are coached by former Bison coach B.J. Greene.
Hart allowed three runs — one earned — in six innings of work. He struck out 10 while giving up only six hits.
Josh Mathis pitched one inning in relief. With two outs in the top of the seven, he gave up a triple to Heber Springs’ Paden Flippin but struck out Judson Smith to end the game.
“I thought Chris threw a very good game,” Carlisle coach William Rountree said. “I told the team after the game that we’ve had two games this week and we’ve had outstanding pitching. Josh pitched really well [against England] and I thought Chris pitched very well tonight. Josh came in as the closer and did his job.”
Rountree said his team is “blessed” to have two good pitchers.
“They’ve been through the wars,” he said. “Obviously, we’re going to try to develop some more.”
Greene said he expected that type of pitching from his former players.
“We knew we’d have to put the ball in play to make plays,” Greene said. “We didn’t do a very good job. We knew we had to be able to hit those guys. I knew it would be nip and tuck.”
Greene said the bottom of the Bison lineup produced while his didn’t.
“Coach Rountree has done a good job with the younger players, getting them ready,” Greene said.
The Panthers scored the game’s first run in the top of the first. Harley Hooten hit a solo homer to right field.
The Bison tied it in the bottom of the frame. Mathis led off with a double and eventually scored on a single by Deron Ricks.
Heber Springs reclaimed the lead in the top of the third when Brooks Morgan singled and went to third on a bad pickoff attempt. He scored on a double by Flippin.
Carlisle (2-0) scored twice in the bottom of the third to lead 3-2. Mathis and Hart led of with singles. Two batters later, Ricks walked to load the bases. Jacob Gordon reached on an error on a sacrifice fly, which scored Mathis with the first run. Hart and Ricks scored on a single by Dylan Brazeal.
The Panthers pulled to within one at 3-2 with a run in the top of the fifth. Morgan reached on an error and scored on a double by Hooten.
The score remained 3-2 until the bottom of the sixth when the Bison plated three runs to lead 7-3. Brazeal reached on an error. Jacob Cagle followed with a single and Nick Schafer walked to load the bases. Tyler Young followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Ben Wilson, who pinch ran for Brazeal.
Mathis followed with another sacrifice fly, scoring Cagle. Schafer scored on an infield single by Austin Reed.
Mathis led the Bison offense, going 2 for 3 with two runs scored. Brazeal led the Bison with two RBIs.
Each time the Panthers made a run at the Bison, Carlisle came up with timely hits.
“We had a couple of sacrifice flies that gave us that cushion late,” Rountree said.
The Bison haven’t been able to practice on the field much during the early part of the spring.
“Anything that we see defensively that needs to be improved, that will come with time,” he said. “I like the attitude of our guys. I like our guys and it goes back to what Coach Greene did for these guys and the great job that he did.”
Bison 15, Panthers 1
The Carlisle Bison improved to 3-0 on the season with a 15-1 win over Bigelow on Tuesday at Rockefeller Park.
The Bison plated seven runs in the first inning. Scoring were Josh Mathis, Chris Hart, Austin Reed, Deron Ricks, Jacob Gordon, Dylan Brazeal and Jacob Cagle.
Carlisle then scored five runs in the second. Brazeal, Cagle, Nick Schafer, Tyler Young and Mathis each scored.
Scoring in the third were Ben Wilson and Ricks.
The Bison’s final run came in the fourth. Hart doubled and scored.
Bigelow’s only run came in the fourth inning. Mathis, Hart and Reed combined to strike out 11 batters.