Panthers head to Pottsville looking for a regional berth

Heber Springs catcher Cole Payton comes up with the catch of a pop fly as pitcher Corbin Jones attempts to get out of the way against Subiaco Academy at the Heber Springs Sports Complex. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


The Heber Springs Panther baseball team reached its first season goal with Saturday’s 10-6 win against Subiaco Academy in the regular season finale at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.

The Panthers (11-11 overall, 3-3 in 4-4A) will begin play at the 4-4A Conference Tournament against Clarksville at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Pottsville. Tuesday’s winner will qualify for the North Regional tournament in Morrilton.

Subiaco Academy (8-10 overall, 1-5 in 4-4A) is scheduled to play Pottsville in the play-in game, also on Tuesday.

“We set a goal of avoiding the play-in game and accomplished it,” Heber Springs coach Ryan Bridges said. “It also will benefit our pitching staff. We need one win get to the regional tournament and that also was one of our goals. The players are excited about that.”

The Panthers defeated Clarksville (9-7 overall, 2-4 in 4-4A) 3-2 earlier this season in Clarksville.

“It will be a tough game,” Bridges said. “Clarksville has a big lefty, who is a very good pitcher. We have not faced him yet. We will be working on our hitting in practice and then see what happens on Tuesday.”

Liam Buffalo led the Heber Springs’ offense with three singles and an RBI, plus two stolen bases. Preston Fitzpatrick hit a single and a double for three RBIs. Ty West had two singles and a stolen base. John McBroome contributed two singles.

The Panthers broke the game open by scoring five runs during the second inning and pulled away to a 6-1 lead.

“The second inning helped to get us going,” Bridges said. We put the ball in play It helped us to get more comfortable. The bunt hits and doing what we needed helped to win the game by putting more runs on the board.”

But it was not just hitting. Bridges liked the performance of his pitching staff.

Corbin Jones, who was the starting and winning pitcher, allowed five hits and two earned runs with three strikeouts and a walk in four innings. Logan Lozeau pitched the fifth inning and gave up three hits and an earned run with one walk and a strikeout.

West relieved Lozeau in the sixth and allowed two hits and three runs, one run earned, with one walk. Buffalo pitched the seventh and permitted two hits and struck out two batters.

“We got good pitching,” Bridges said. “Corbin pitched well for four innings. Logan and Ty helped out and Buffalo closed the game.”

Subiaco Academy took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Wesley Schluterman reached base on a single and later scored on Drew Creek’s infield out. The Panthers tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Zane Lozeau walked, advanced to second on an infield out and scored on Buffalo’s two-out RBI single.

Heber Springs loaded the bases with no outs in the 5-run second inning. Preston Fitzpatrick hit a 2-run single to break the 1-1 tie. McBroome came home on Zane Lozeau’s sac fly and Fitzpatrick scored after a wild pitch. Cole Payton walked and crossed the plate when Buffalo reached on an error.
The Trojans scored runs in the third and fifth innings.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Panthers increased their lead to 10-3. West hit 2-run single, J.T. Spears scored on an infield hit, and West crossed the plate when Sneed was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Subiaco Academy scored its final three runs in the sixth inning.

“We tried to be more aggressive running the bases,” Bridges said. “Getting clutch hits and the base running helped to put the game away (in the fifth).”

Bridges hasn’t decided on a starting pitcher for Clarksville. Spears, who pitched a complete-game win in the teams’ earlier game, is the likely starter.

“That game was scoreless until the sixth inning,” Bridges said. “Not sure if J.T. might start or go with someone else since he pitched last time we played. We got the momentum with Saturday’s win. I like our chances for Tuesday’s games.”

Subiaco Academy    100 113  0–6 12 2
Heber Springs           150 040 x–10 10 1

SUBIACO ACADEMY HITTERS: Wesley Schluterman single, double, 1 RBI; Ivan Martijin 2 singles, 1 stolen base; Brody Koch 2 singles, 1 stolen base; Luke Castro double, 1 stolen base; Jacob Grist double; Conner Haynes single, 1 RBI; Drew Creek single, 1 stolen base; Sebastian Kersh single.
HEBER SPRINGS HITTERS: Liam Buffalo 3 singles, 1 RBI, 2 stolen bases; Preston Fitzpatrick single, double, 3 RBIs; Ty West 2 singles, 1 stolen base; John McBroome 2 singles; J.T. Spears single; Cole Payton 1 RBI, 1 stolen base, Zane Lozeau 1 RBI; Kenan Sneed 1 RBI.
SUBIACO ACADEMY PITTERS: Conner Haynes 1 hit, 1 earned run, 1 strikeout in 1 inning; Wesley Schluterman (LP) 4 hits, 5 runs, 3 earned runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts in 2 innings; Logan Hess 5 hits, 4 earned runs in 3 innings.
HEBER SPRINGS PITCHERS: Corbin Jones (WP) 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 strikeouts, 1 walk in 4 innings; Logan Lozeau 3 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout in 1 inning; Ty West 2 hits, 3 runs, 1 earned run, 1 walk in 1 inning; Liam Buffalo 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 strikeouts in 1 inning.

Panthers fall to Warhawks in Overtime

Heber Springs’ Conner Riddle goes up for a shot against Mount Vernon-Enola on Jan. 16 at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

January 16, 2020

Despite a 28-point performance from Conner Riddle, Heber Springs dropped a 44-41 nonconference decision to Mount Vernon-Enola on Jan. 16 at the Panther Den.

Heber Springs trailed 16-4 at the end of the first quarter but bounced back to make it a 22-15 game at the half. The Panthers had a chance to close the gap further right before the half but missed a shot after holding the ball and the Warhawks were able to get another field goal to increase their advantage.

The Panthers cut the deficit to 28-27 at the end of the third quarter after closing the third on a 7-0 run on an Eli Riggs 3-pointer and a pair of baskets by Riddle.

The Warhawks led by five at 37-32 before a 3-pointer by Luke Greenwald and three-point play by Riddle gave the Panthers a 38-37 advantage with 38.1 seconds left in regulation.

The Warhawks were able to tie things up at 38-all after hitting one of two from the free-throw line with 24.6 to play. Heber Springs had a couple of chances to win the game in regulation but couldn’t get a shot to fall.

Heber Springs led overtime 41-40 after Riddle hit 3-of-4 from the free-throw line, the last coming at the 1:28 mark. Mount Vernon-Enola closed the game by going 4-for-4 at the line.

Riddle finished the night by going 10-of-15 from the line.

The Panthers were coming off a 43-17 setback to Dardanelle on Jan. 14 as Heber Springs trailed 22-4 at the half.

On Jan. 10, Riddle had seven points in the first quarter and finished with 11, including a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line as Heber Springs downed Subiaco Academy, 33-3.

Riddle scored 16, including hitting a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line, on Jan. 7 in a 54-35 setback to Pottsville at the Panther Den.

Heber Springs led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter, but were outscored 37-10 in the second and third quarters as the Apaches pulled away for the 4A-4 victory.

Mount Vernon-Enola   16  6  6  10  6 - 44
Heber Springs         4 11 12  11  3 - 41
MOUNT VERNON-ENOLA SCORING (44): Chapman 21, Millsaps 7, Furiegh 6, Hoover 2, Emery 2, Walls 2, Rowe 2, Henery 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (41): Conner Riddle 28, Eli Riggs 6, Luke Greenwald 3, Bent McClain 2, Maddox Reed 2

Dardanelle        5  17  19  2 - 43
Heber Springs     4   0   7  6 - 17
DARDANELLE SCORING (43): Robert Millard 16, Braden Tanner 16, Trenton Whitecotton 4, Drew Vega 4, Ethan Turnbow 2, Victor Padilla 1
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (17): Xander Lindley 4, Luke Greenwald 3, Wyatt Winchester 3, Eli Riggs 2, Easton Cusick 2, Conner Riddle 2, Hud Haggard 1

Heber Springs     16  4  8  5 - 33
Subiaco Academy    0  0  1  2 -  3
SUBIACO ACADEMY SCORING (3): Logan Hess 2, Brady Koch 1
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (33): Conner Riddle 11, Hud Haggard 9, Xander Lindley 6, Eli Riggs 5, Luke Greenwald 2

Pottsville      12  20  17  5 - 54
Heber Springs   14   8   2 11 - 35
POTTSVILLE SCORING (54): Stanley 18, Ybarra 14, Palmer 5, Furrh 4, Daily 4, Martin 4, Williams 2, Bradley 2, Snowden 1
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (35): Conner Riddle 16, Bauer Pruitt 5, Eli Riggs 5, Ladd Choate 3, Luke Greenwald 2, Hud Haggard 2, Bent McClain 2
COACH: Chad Johnson
4A-4 RECORD: 2-3
November 9 - Greenbrier 37, Heber Springs 17 ^
November 12 - Nemo Vista 45, Heber Springs 37
November 13 - Heber Springs 54, Yellville-Summit 50 ^
November 14 - Dover 43, Heber Springs 36 ^
November 19 - Heber Springs 44, South Side Bee Branch 38
November 21 - Riverview 51, Heber Springs 21
November 23 - Cabot South 8th 37, Heber Springs 33 *
November 23 - Conway Blue 71, Heber Springs 39 *
November 26 - Clinton 44, Heber Springs 27
December 10 - Heber Springs 45, Dover 33 #
December 13 - Marshall 46, Heber Springs 38
December 16 - Heber Springs 36, White County Central 35
December 20 - Ozark 46, Heber Springs 28 #
January 7 - Pottsville 51, Heber Springs 35 #
January 10 - Heber Springs 33, Subiaco Academy 3 #
January 14 - Dardanelle 43, Heber Springs 17 #
January 16 - Mount Vernon-Enola 44, Heber Springs 41 (OT)
January 23 - Marshall
January 24 - Dover #
January 27 - at Mayflower
January 28 - at Pottsville #
January 31 - at Ozark #
February 3 - Quitman
February 4 - at Dardanelle #
Februaryr 7 - Subiaco Academy #
February 10 - District Tournament at Ozark

(^ - Denotes Marshall Tournament)
(* - Denotes Heber Springs Tournament)
(# - Denotes 4A-4 Conference Game)