May tabbed to lead Heber Springs baseball

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Monterio May never envisioned becoming a head baseball coach this year and prepared for another season as director of player development at the University of Central Arkansas.

But that quickly changed with the resignation of Scott Bramlett as head baseball coach at Heber Springs High School in September.

May learned from a former teammate about the job opening at Heber Springs, submitted an application and the rest is now history. He took the reins of the Panther baseball program Monday and began preparation for the new season.

Monterio May

“I applied for the job and received an email within 24 hours asking me to come and interview,” May said. “I jumped out of my seat and was excited to get an interview. I met with the school administrators and school district staff, and they treated me like a member of the family. I’m grateful to the community, school district and (Superintendent) Dr. (Andy) Ashley for the opportunity.”

May began learning the game at an early age and took advantage of opportunities to play at different levels.

“I played baseball since the age of five,” he said. “I try to use the competitive edge to my advantage. One of my biggest accomplishments was being an alternate on the USA Baseball 16-and-under team.”

May started his collegiate baseball career at Shelton County Community College (Alabama). He transferred to Lurleen B. Wallace Community College (Alabama) because of an injury and the school was closer to his home. May finished his playing career at Central Baptist College in Conway.

“After earning an associate’s degree, I made the best decision in my life in coming to Arkansas,” May said. “I played two years (at CBC) for coach Aaron Brister and was part of the team when it won a conference championship.”

After playing one year in an independent league, May accepted an opportunity to work for UCA and head coach Allen Gum.

“I worked at UCA for the last three years,” May said. “I was prepared to stay at UCA and wait to see what might open in a year. This job turned into the right fit for me.”

May is completing the final requirements for a master’s degree in educational and athletic administration. He then plans to start work on a doctorate’s degree.

May comes from a family of educators. A sister is a teacher and a brother-in-law is a strength and conditioning coach. May said that taught him the importance of education.

“Education can never be taken away from you,” May said. “My ultimate goal is to make an impact on people around me. Coaching and teaching allow me to do that. I want to make a positive impact.”

May met with players last week and held a parents’ meeting Thursday night at the Panther Den. He said everything has been positive and ready to start preseason workouts.

“I noticed that we have players with a lot of athleticism,” he said. “We had around 27 players at the first meeting, and I know of four basketball players who will join us when that season is completed.”

May said everything is in place for success.

“My philosophy is to finish strong,” he said. “We will learn how to compete at a high level. We have amazing facilities and a community that supports the program 100 percent. We will find ways to get the job done and build a foundation for the future of the program.”

Heber Springs host Pottsville in 4A-4 play

March 8, 2020

Heber Springs returns to 4A-4 action on Monday when the Panthers host Pottsville at 4:30 p.m. at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.

The game was originally scheduled for Friday but was pushed back because Pottsville was in the 4A state basketball tournament.

Heber Springs opened conference play on March 3 with a 13-3 setback at Dover (1-2 overall, 1-1 in 4A-4).

The Panthers and Pirates were tied at 3-all heading into the bottom of the fourth before Dover plated 10 unanswered and run-ruled Heber Springs.

The Panthers struck first in the top of the first as Alec Kelley walked and would later score on a double steal.

Dover will would tie things up in the bottom of the frame with a triple and a single off Heber Springs starter Garrett Hudspeth.

After a quiet second for the Panthers, a lead-off walk and back-t0-back singles would give Dover a 3-1 advantage heading into the third.

The score would remain that way until the fourth when Matthew Cook lead off by reaching on an error and scoring on an Hudspeth double. Fate Berry followed with a single driving Hudspeth for the Panthers final runs of the afternoon.

In the bottom of the fourth Dover would plate four runs, after a lead-off walk, a double and two errors would help push across four Pirate runs.

In the fifth, two more Panther errors and four doubles helped Dover end the contest with six runs in the inning.

Heber Springs had three hits on the night with Berry going 2-for-2 with an RBI.

Hudspeth struck out five but walked four in getting the loss in three plus innings of work.

Dover used five Panther errors and 12 hits to plate five earned runs.

HEBER SPRINGS AT DOVER
March 3
Heber Springs    100 20 -  3  3  5
Dover            120 46 - 13 12  1
Note: 1-out when winning run scored
WP: Dawson Branch
LP: Garrett Hudspeth (1-1)
HEBER SPRINGS HIGHLIGHTS: Fate Berry 2-for-2 with an RBI; Garrett Hudspeth, RBI double with run scored; Alec Kelley, run scored
DOVER HIGHLIGHTS: Dawson Branch 2-for-3, double, triple, RBI and two runs scored; Brock Payne, 2-for-4 with a double, three RBIs, and a run scored; Josh Besterfeldt, two runs scored; Kaleb Williams 1-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs; Lance Millsaps 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored; Jeremy Robinson, RBI double, run scored; Jayce Sharp 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored; and Jon Greathouse 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.
PITCHING: Heber Springs, Hudsepth 3 2/3 innings pitched, six hits, seven runs, three earned runs, five strikeouts, four walks; Alec Kelley 2/3 IP, five hits, six runs, two earned runs, one strikeout; Matthew Cook, faced one batter and gave up a hit; Dover, Dawson Branch 5 innings pitched, three hits, three runs, two earned runs, seven strikeouts and one walk.
HEBER SPRINGS 2020 BASEBALL
COACH SCOTT BRAMLETT
OVERALL RECORD: 1-1
4A-4 RECORD: 0-1
March 2   Heber Springs 7, West Side Greers Ferry 5
March 3   Dover 13, Heber Springs 3 *
March 9   Pottsville *                 4:30 p.m.
March 10  at Ozark *                   4:30 p.m.
March 13  Subiaco Academy *            4:30 p.m.
March 16  at Harding Academy           4:30 p.m.
March 17  Dardanelle *                 5 p.m.
March 19  at Pangburn Tournament
March 20  at Clarksville *             4 p.m.
March 21  at Pangburn Tournament 
March 31  Morrilton *                  4 p.m.
April 3   Dover *                      4:30 p.m.
April 7   at Pottsville *              4:30 p.m.
April 9   Ozark *                      4:30 p.m.
April 14  at Dardanelle *              5 p.m.
April 17  at Subiaco  Academy *        4:30 p.m.
April 21  at Morrilton *               4 p.m.
April 23  at Clinton                   6 p.m.
April 24  Clarksville *                4 p.m.
April 27  4A-4 Tournament at Dover

(* - Denotes 4A-4 Conference contest)
(Note: Games and times are subject to change)

Panthers top West Side in baseball opener

Heber Springs first baseman Cole Peyton steps off the bag after an out during Monday’s game against West Side. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELLE McCARTY

March 2, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs withstood a mid-game surge by the West Side Greers Ferry and claimed a 7-5 win in the baseball season opener at the Heber Springs Sports Complex Monday.

The Panthers built a 4-0 lead before the Eagles tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the fourth inning.

Heber Springs took the lead with one run in the bottom of the inning and added two runs in the sixth. West Side scored one run in the seventh.

Heber Springs used five pitchers with Austin Winchester earning the win in relief. Garrett Hudspeth struck out the final two batters in the seventh for the save.

“We were nervous last week if we could play this game because of predicted weather problems,” Heber Springs coach Scott Bramlett said. “It was good to get the win. One thing the guys did well was to play hard throughout the game.”

Bramlett liked how the defense performed.

“We turned two double plays,” he said. “When West Side scored four runs in the fourth, it came from walking batters. We must do a better job of throwing strikes and also hit the ball better.”

Heber Springs was held to four hits, all singles.

The Panthers were scheduled to play at Dover in the 4-4A Conference opener today and intended to use more than one pitcher against the Eagles, who advanced to the Class 1A state tournament semifinals last season.

“We were trying to keep within 30 pitches, so they can pitch at Dover,” Bramlett said. “I was impressed with Winchester, who shut them down in the sixth inning. We came back with our best pitcher (Hudspeth), who struck out the final two batters in the seventh.”

Heber Springs took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Hudspeth hit a single, advanced on an infield out and scored on Matthew Cook’s hit to right field.

The Panthers added three runs in the second. Cole Payton started the inning by reaching on an error, Adam Martin was hit by a pitch and Alec Kelley walked to load the bases. Cole Payton scored on a passed ball and then Hudspeth hit a 2-run single, increasing the lead to 4-0.

West Side tied the game in the fourth inning. Ashton Carr walked and scored on Ashton Klepko’s double. Kiepko, who advanced to third on an overthrow, crossed the plate on an error. Jared Cothren and Travis Gentry each hit RBI singles to tie the game.

Heber Springs regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Fate Berry walked and was replaced by courtesy runner Levy Phillips, who scored from third base on an infield out for the 5-4 lead.

The Panthers added two runs in the sixth when Kelley and Hudspeth each scored on passed balls.

“We drew walks and did a good job of running the bases,” Bramlett said. “We did a good job of putting the ball in play.”

West Side scored one run in the seventh as Gentry came home on a bases-loaded walk to Gage Fetterman.

Bramlett expects another close game at Dover today.

“Dover will be ready for us,” he said. “We need to bring our best and get a conference win.”

West Side returns to action on Thursday when it travels to Calico Rock for a nonconference contest.

LINESCORE/HIGHLIGHTS
West Side Greers Ferry 000 400 1 - 5 5 2
Heber Springs          130 102 x - 7 4 2
WEST SIDE GREERS FERRY OFFENSIVE HIGHLIGHTS: Travis Gentry 2 singles, 1 RBI, 3 stolen bases; Ashton Klepko double, 1 RBI; Jared Cothren single, 1 RBI; Dax Hipp single; Gage Fetterman 1 RBI; Brenton Hipp 1 stolen base.
HEBER SPRINGS OFFENSIVE HIGHLIGHTS: Garrett Hudspeth 2 singles, 2 RBIs, 1 stolen base; Matthew Cook single, 2 RBIs; Gage Buford single; Alec Kelley 1 stolen base; Cole Payton 1 stolen base.
WEST SIDE PITCHING: Jared Cothren 0 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned run in .1 inning; Travis Gentry 1 hit, 1 run, 1 earned run, 1 strikeout, 2 walk in .2 inning; Colby Stout (0-1) 0 hits, 1 run, 3 strikeouts, 3 walks in 1.1 inning; Dax Hipp 0 hits, 0 runs in .2 inning; Asa Carr 0 hits, 2 runs, 3 strikeouts, 3 walks in 1 inning; Brenton Knapp 0 hits, 0 runs, 2 strikeouts in 1 inning.
HEBER SPRINGS PITCHING: Gage Buford 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 strikeout, 3 walks in 2 innings; Alec Kelley 1 hit, 3 runs, 3 earned runs, 1 strikeout, 3 walks in 1.1 inning; Mathew Cook 2 hits, 1 run, 1 earned run, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks in 1.2 inning; Austin Winchester (1-0) 1 hit, 1 run, 1 earned run, 3 strikeouts, 3 walks in 1.1 inning; Garrett Hudspeth (1 save) 0 hits, 0 runs, 2 strikeouts in .2 inning.