Crashing the Party: Tigers pull off upset to earn spot in regional tournament
By Scott Loftis
The Green Forest Tigers are headed to the regional tournament.
Green Forest punched its ticket by beating Mountain View 8-5 Monday in the first round of the 3A-1 East district baseball tournament Monday in Clinton.
The Tigers scored twice in the top of the first inning, then added four more runs in the third to take a 6-1 lead. After Mountain View scored two in the bottom of the third to get within 6-3, Green Forest answered with two more runs in the fourth.
Sophomore Reiley Gordon had a pair of doubles for the Tigers, driving in one run and scoring two. Junior Jackson Tibbets drove in two runs.
Junior Jacob McMahan drove in Green Forestís first run with a single that scored senior Hayden Bailey in the first inning. McMahan then stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on another ball that got past the Mountain View catcher.
In the third, senior Dustin Pimentel reached on an error, then stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a single by freshman Barrett Phillips.
Phillips stole second before Bailey drew a walk. Gordon followed with a double to center field that scored Phillips. One out later, Tibbets singled to center to score Bailey and Gordon and give the Tigers a 6-1 lead.
After Mountain View cut the margin to 6-3, Pimentel singled leading off the fourth. He then stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on error.
Gordon followed with a double, then stole third and scored when Mountain View misplayed Tibbetsí ground ball to make it 8-3.
Mountain View scored one run in the fifth and cut the lead to 8-5 with a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh. Phillips then relieved Bailey on the mound and struck out the next Mountain View batter on three pitches to end the game and clinch a regional berth for the Tigers.
Bailey earned the pitching victory, allowing five runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven Mountain View batters.
On Tuesday, Green Forest lost to Clinton 10-0 in the district semifinals. The Tigers will play Valley Springs in the third-place game at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Clinton.
The 3A-1 Regional Tournament will begin Thursday, May 2, at West Fork. If Green Forest beats Valley Springs for third place in the district tournament, the Tigers will play at 12:30 p.m. If Valley Springs wins Fridayís game, Green Forestís first-round regional game will be at 3 p.m. against the winner of the 3A-1 West district tournament.