Dirt­bags fall in Area 3 ti­tle game

The Saline Courier - - SPORTS - By Tony Le­na­han tle­na­[email protected]­ton­courier.com

CARLISLE – Hav­ing to de­feat Brink­ley twice Tues­day to take the Area 3 Zone Tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship, the Ben­ton Sport Shop Dirt­bags would fall 9-5 in the open­ing game of the ti­tle se­ries in Carlisle.

The loss gives Ben­ton a No. 2 seed head­ing into Fri­day’s Amer­i­can Le­gion Ju­nior State Tour­na­ment at Bear Sta­dium at the Univer­sity of Cen­tral Arkansas in Con­way.

The Dirt­bags will face Jack­sonville Gwat­ney Fri­day at 12:30 p.m.

Sport Shop would get down early against Brink­ley, trail­ing 5-0 after one in­ning aided by five walks, but fought back the next two in­nings.

Reed Gautreaux sin­gled to start the bot­tom of the sec­ond in­ning, stole sec­ond and scored on Jack­son Re­gan’s dou­ble to cen­ter­field. Re­gan scored on Austin Hil­lis’ sin­gle to make it 5-2 be­fore the Dirt­bags made it a 2-run game when Hil­lis stole home.

Sport Shop picked up two runs in the third in­ning, both with two outs, as Eas­ton Din­wid­die walked with one out, but would be thrown out at home after a Gautreaux dou­ble. But, Re­gan fol­lowed with a sin­gle and Hil­lis sin­gled to right to plate Gautreaux to get within one run. Dawson Goines tied things at 5-apiece with an RBI sin­gle to cen­ter to score Re­gan.

But, that would be all the of­fense the Dirt­bags could muster as Brink­ley re­sponded with two runs, on an RBI sin­gle and triple, in the top of the fourth, and two more in the top of the sixth to set the fi­nal score.

Both Brink­ley and Ben­ton had 11 hits with Hil­lis going 2 for 3 with two RBIS. Gautreaux and Re­gan both went 2 for 3 with two runs apiece and Caleb Goines was 2 for 4. Dawson Goines went 1 for 3 with an RBI, while Cole Bab­cock and Hunter Fer­rell added a hit in the loss.

On the mound, Reece Row­land logged the most work for the Dirt­bags giv­ing up two runs on seven hits and no walks, strik­ing out three in 4.2 in­nings of re­lief. Logan Bragg struck out one, giv­ing up one hit, in 1.1 score­less in­nings.

GREG Davis/spe­cial to The Sa­line Courier

Ben­ton Sport Shop Dirt­bags runner Caleb Goines takes off for first after a bunt in a game ear­lier this sea­son. Goines was 2 for 4 in a 9-5 loss to Brink­ley in the Area 3 Zone Tour­na­ment in Carlisle Tues­day.

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