Dirtbags fall in Area 3 title game
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.
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.