Three Carroll County teams win district championships
Editor's Note: A story in Tuesday's Midweek edition inaccurately described the results of last weekend's North Arkansas Cal Ripken baseball league district championships. The results are described accurately in the following story.
By Ty Loftis
BERRYVILLE -- Three out of four isn't bad. In fact, it was pretty darn good for the Carroll County teams that won three titles in four age groups at last weekend's North Arkansas Cal Ripken baseball league district championships at A.L. Carter Sports Complex.
"I am not sure if something like this has ever been done here in Carroll County," tournament director Joe Scott said.
The 9-year-old Carroll County all-stars, coached by Chad Hipps, defeated Pea Ridge 14-2 and Siloam Springs 15-5 before winning by forfeit against Pea Ridge to win the championship.
Mason Meador scored scored six runs in the tournament for Carroll County while Aspen Linz scored five, including two inside-the-park home runs. Chris Hipps and Ashton Blok each scored three runs for the Carroll County team.
"I am just really proud of these guys," Chad Hipps said. "We have been working together since March and to see all of their hard work pay off, it really means a lot."
From here, the team travels to Batesville for the state tournament on the July 4 weekend. While the kids plan on playing the best they can, they are looking most forward to hanging out at the hotel for a few days.
"It's just real fun getting to hang out with the team," Brady Smith said. "Getting to go to new places with my friends is a lot of fun."
The 10-year-old Carroll County Thunder, coached by Chad Allen, were also victorious. They defeated Siloam Springs 9-3 in the first round, beat Gravette 5-1 in the semifinals 5-1 and then won the championship by beating Gravette 12-5.
"These guys just fought really hard," Chad Allen said. "I couldn't be prouder of the effort they have shown throughout the year."
Nate Allen had six hits and four runs while driving in four runs in the tournament. Jack Dignan had five hits and four runs while driving in five. Jordan McLoud and Chet Hudgens each had four hits. McLoud had three runs and drove in a run while Hudgens scored one run and drove in two. William Dean pitched two games, getting the win in both and striking out 12. DJ Colbert got the other decision, while striking out seven. Jake Wilson got all three saves and struck out seven.
The Thunder will travel to Conway this weekend to compete in the USSSA state championships.
The 12-year-old Carroll County All-Stars, coached by Luke Gordon, were the third Carroll County team to come away with a championship over the weekend. After beating Madison County 13-2, they defeated Gravette 12-1. That set up a semifinal matchup with Gentry, which came in undefeated. A game-winning double by J.D. Smith gave Carroll County a 9-8 victory. Gentry worked its way out of the losers' bracket to set up a rematch in the championship game, which Carroll County also won, 9-4.
"We have been working with some of these guys for three or four years now," Luke Gordon said. "I mean, we made it to the state tournament last year, too, but I feel like this group of kids is special."
Reiley Gordon and Elijah Coffey scored eight runs each in the tournament. Jarrett Stringer scored six runs while Ian Nelson scored five.