CLASS 5A BASEBALL SEMIFINALS
SYLVAN HILLS 11, GREENBRIER 8
HARRISON -- Third baseman Chaz Poppy cleared the bases with a one-out, fifth-inning grand slam and Sylvan Hills withstood a seventh-inning rally from Greenbrier for an 11-8 victory Saturday in the semifinals of the Class 5A state tournament at Jack Williams Field in Harrison.
The victory puts the Bears into next week's final at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville on Friday or Saturday against Watson Chapel. The schedule and pairings will be announced by the Arkansas Activities Association today.
"I guess I just got lucky. I was just trying to get something I could drive," Poppy said.
The Bears grabbed the lead in the top of the first when Kyle Clayton led off with a walk. He moved to second on a single by Ryan Lumpkin, and Poppy hit a ground ball to short, moving Clayton to third and forcing Lumpkin at second.
That set the stage for catcher Nick Faukori, who laced a double to left center to score Poppy and Clayton. Ray Young followed with a single, scoring Faukori to give the Bears a 3-0 lead.
A one-out walk to Greenbrier's Connor Flagg brought Cayden Wallace to the plate. He sent one over the wall in left center to narrow the lead to 3-2.
In the fifth inning, the Bears took advantage of a passed ball on the third strike and two consecutive walks to load the bases for Poppy, who lofted a one-strike pitch from reliever Spencer Sutterfield to give Sylvan Hills an 11-2 lead.
Sylvan Hills' Braden Withrow struck out Guy Echols to open the bottom of the seventh. Withrow then hit Talon Moore with a two-strike count, and Sutterfield followed with a ground-rule double. Sutterfield and Moore scored on a single by Steven Stewart.
Stewart scored on a double by Flagg. A walk and a single loaded the bases again, narrowing the lead to 11-7. A sacrifice fly to center drove in courtesy runner Brady Jerry. Echols, who struck out to open the inning, flied out to right to end the game.
WATSON CHAPEL 12, VALLEY VIEW 3
The Wildcats took advantage of three home runs on a day when the wind was blowing out to left field to grab the other spot in the finals.
Watson Chapel didn't score in the first, but Valley View took advantage of two walks and a single to put up two runs. The Blazers added a run in the third on a walk, stolen base and two infield outs.
Watson Chapel got two runs in the second on a walk to Trent Goodman that was followed by a home run from Garrett Dennis to tie the game at 2-2. The Wildcats added two more in the third and three in the fourth to open a 7-3 lead.
In the fifth inning, G Turner hit a three-run home run. Kevin Compton followed with a single, then Ja'Kobi Jackson added another home run to complete the scoring.
Sports on 05/13/2018
Print Headline: Poppy's grand slam propels Sylvan Hills