The conditions were miserable but the celebration was genuine as the Bearcats capped a 4-0 week with a wild 18-17 win over Heber Springs Saturday night to win a tournament in Dover.
That win followed lopsided wins over Des Arc and Conway Christian in the tournament and a win over Charleston on the same day as Bearcat Relays.
Bearcats 3 Charleston 0
Brady Brasher continued to have Charleston’s number, especially in Charleston, striking out 15 in a complete game, 99-pitch, 3-0 win in Franklin County.
Over the last three years Brasher has shut the Tigers out twice in Charleston and threw a five inning complete game run rule win in the opener of a double header last year in Booneville — that’s one run in 19 innings or an ERA of 0.37.
Brasher gave himself a 1-0 lead before he took the mound for the first time by following a Brandon Ulmer triple with a single.
The Bearcats, 2-2 at that point, would strand two runners in scoring position in the inning but Brasher had all he was going to need. The senior sat down the first nine Tigers and 12 of 13, pitching around a fourth inning single by Michael Rankin.
Charleston’s best chance to score against Brasher came in the fifth when the bases were loaded on two hits and an error but Brasher retired Kaden Binge on a short fly and struck out Rankin.
The Bearcats also had scoring opportunities but had a runner out at the plate trying to come home on a dropped third strike and throw to first in the third inning.
In the fourth one runner was cut down stealing and the inning ended on an 8-1 fly ball double play off the bat of Gabe Fennell. In the fifth the Bearcats left two in scoring position when Brasher lifted a fly ball.
Finally in the sixth Brasher got some insurance as Colton McDonald, who took the loss walked Trent Wooldridge and hit Michael Hesson to start the inning. After Carson Ray struck out looking, Kalen Frost took over and hit Chandler Fritsche a pitch to force in a run and ninth hitting Wyatt Rongey singled home a run to make it 3-0.
From there, Brasher (1-1) allowed a single hit and he struck out six more to give him 15 for the day.
Bearcats 12 Conway Christian 1
Staying just under the 86 pitch threshold that would require three days off, Brandon Ulmer finished off the Conway Christian Eagles in 84 in a five inning 12-1 win the opening round of a tournament in Dover Thursday afternoon.
The Bearcats, who won their third straight after dropping the first two games of the season, were in complete command throughout, taking a 3-0 first inning lead when Hayden Fennell singled and Ulmer walked in front of a Brady Brasher double. Brady Brasher would later score on a passed ball.
Brady Brasher drove in his brother Cam Brasher with a run in the second inning after the younger brother drew a walk and moved up on a Wyatt Rongey sacrifice and stealing third. Singles by Trent Wooldridge and Michael Hesson had the Bearcats in front 6-0.
After the Eagles managed a run against Ulmer (1-1) Wooldridge got his second RBI of the day on a ground ball and Ulmer would score on a passed ball to make it 8-1.
A bases loaded hit by pitch gave Brasher his fourth RBI of the game and a Wooldridge ground out gave his his third in a four run fifth that included a Hesson infield singe that resulted in two runs crossing home.
Bearcats 14 Des Arc 0
Hayden Fennell threw a five inning two hit shutout and struck out eight without walking a batter in the tournament semifinals. He needed just 53 pitches to complete the game.
Brady Brasher had four RBI and Ethan Dobbs hit a bases clearing double in his only at bat for three RBI. Brasher and Fennell both had two hits as the Bearcats had 10 total hits and took advantage of eight walks.
Starting with a four run first the Bearcat line score also included three, two and five run frames.
Bearcats 18 Heber Springs 17
Pierce Mitchum hit a pair of grand slams and a solo shot for nine RBIs and Heber Springs twice scored seven in an inning but it was the Bearcats, who with a 10-run frame of their own, who pulled out an extra inning win to win the tournament in Dover in less than ideal conditions Saturday evening.
The Bearcats threw five pitchers, including Blakley Cobb who allowed one run over the final three innings to get the win. Heber sent four ment to the mound, including Sam Lee who took the loss. The nine pitchers combined to allow 21 walks, 30 hits and hit five batters. Wyatt Rongey was plunked three times for the Bearcats.
The Bearcats (5-2) got three RBI from Hayden Fennell and Brandon Ulmer and two each from Brady Brasher, Michael Hesson, Carson Ray and Rongey.
Besides the 35 combined runs, there were a combined 22 men left on base.