NORTH LITTLE ROCK -- Springdale Har-Ber's Kirby Jenkins lined out with the bases loaded to end the first inning of the Wildcats' Class 7A state quarterfinal game Friday morning, but he took advantage of a second chance.
The junior blooped a two-run single into left field as part of a three-run third to help Har-Ber to a 4-1 win over Bryant at Vince DeSalvo Stadium at Burns Park.
State Baseball Tournaments
At North Little Rock
Game 2 4C Bryant 3, 5W Fayetteville 2
Game 4 3W Van Buren 12, 5C Fort Smith Northside 1
Game 6 4W Bentonville High 4, 5C North Little Rock 1
Game 8 3C LR Catholic 14, 6A Bentonville West 6
Game 9 1W Springdale Har-Ber 4, Bryant 1
Game 10 Van Buren 5, 2C Cabot 3 (8 innings)
Game 11 1C Conway 9, Bentonville 6
Game 12 2W Rogers High 10, Little Rock Catholic 0 (6 innings)
Game 13 Springdale Har-Ber vs Van Buren, noon
Game 14 Conway vs. Rogers, 2:30 p.m.
Har-Ber (29-4) will now take on Van Buren in an all-7A-West semifinal at noon today.
The 7A-West champion and defending state runner-up did its damage with two outs in that key third inning.
"Kirby's kinda been a hard-luck guy all year," Har-Ber coach Ron Bradley said. "He's a good player and came up in a quality situation. It's good to see him get rewarded after getting robbed."
Jenkins, who verbally committed to St. Louis earlier in the week, said the two at-bats were very different as he lined a first-pitch fastball, but took a curveball away and fouled off a fastball in before getting the hit on another inside pitch.
"It's just hit it where they ain't," Jenkins said.
That was enough for hard-throwing junior Blake Adams, who improved to 7-2. The right-hander who has verbally committed to Arkansas, allowed a run on three hits over seven innings. He struck out nine and walked two.
Bryant (21-10-1), the No. 4 seed from the 7A-Central, got to Adams in the sixth as Jake Wright doubled, moved to third when a strikeout got into the dirt and catcher Trevor Brown had to throw to him out. Adams was then called for a balk to score Wright and get the Hornets within 3-1.
But Har-Ber added a run in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out RBI single by pinch-hitter J.D. Scott.
Bradley said Adams found a groove, after some early struggles.
"A guy that's a power arm, that first inning is trying to find that comfort zone," Bradley said. "We dodged a bullet in that first inning, dodged a bullet late. They weren't able to get the big hit with two outs. That's the difference in the state tournament."
Ledbetter, Dillon (3), Knight, Greiner (4) and Wright; Adams and Brown.W-Adams, 7-2. L-Ledbetter. HRs-None.
Van Buren 5, Cabot 3 (9)
Trevor Johnson slapped a tie-breaking RBI-single in the top of the ninth and threw well in relief to help Van Buren advance to the semifinals.
Johnson finished 4-for-5, but his single to short right field snapped the 3-3 tie. The Pointers (22-6) added another run on a Cabot error. He picked up the win thanks to 6.2 innings of relief, allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits. The righthander came on with two outs in the second inning.
Dakota Peters came on and got the final two outs for the save after Cabot, the No. 2 seed from the Central put two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth.
Jackson Hurst hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth to tie the game 2-2. Hurst was also hit by a pitch to drive in a run in the top of the seventh. But Dillon Thomas hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh for Cabot (22-7) to tie it at 3 and send the game into extra innings.
Conway 9, Bentonville 6
The 7A-Central champion Wampus Cats shook off some early struggles to rally for the win.
Bentonville (16-11) scored three runs in the top of the first, but Conway responded with four in the bottom of the inning and never trailed to advance to today's semifinals.
Jordan Wicks drove in a run with a groundout in the bottom of the fourth to snap a 6-6 tie and Conway added another on a Bentonville error.
Wicks pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to notch the save. James Hicks picked up the win, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits over six innings of work. He struck out seven and walked two.
Matt Loyd went 2-for-3, drove in two runs and scored twice, while Wicks also drove in two runs for Conway (20-4), which avenged an early season loss to the Tigers and has won 19 of its last 20 games.
Nathan Lyons hit a game-tying two-run home run in the top of the fourth and finished 2-for-4 for Bentonville. Ryan Kneeshaw, who took the loss on the mound, also added two hits and two RBIs.
Rogers 10, LR Catholic 0 (6)
The Mounties (22-7) jumped in front quickly and cruised into today's semifinals.
Rogers will face Conway in the semifinals today at 2:30.
Senior McKaden Templeton picked up the win and went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs for the Mounties, the No. 2 seed from the West. The right-hander tossed six shutout innings, scattering six hits. He struck out five, walked two and hit two batters.
Rogers scored three runs in the bottom of first and added three more in the second to take a 6-0 lead and never looked back.
Jay Watson and Andrew McGlynn added two hits each. Watson, Hayden Seldomridge and Sal Jacobo also drove in two runs apiece.
Sports on 05/12/2018
Print Headline: Jenkins helps Har-Ber advance to semifinals