Cody Harrel hit a mammoth home run and three shutout innings to help the Bearcats down Maumelle 11-7 and reach the District 4A-4 finals in Waldron last week.
The Bearcats dropped the championship game to Dover 7-3 to drop to the second seed in the regional tournament.
The tournament was set to begin Friday, but cold weather and snow, of all weather occurrences, delayed the start of the tournament until Monday. The Bearcats were to face Lincoln at 1:30 Monday with a trip to the Clas 4A state tournament.
Harrel’s home run, his second, cleared the right field fence, a road behind the new park in Waldron and went into a wooded area. The switch hitter also gave his team a 10-1 edge with the blast.
With Brandon Wolski (7-0) on the mound the lead had to seem safe. That wouldn’t quite be the case.
The Hornets, who Wolski beat on April 1, found life in the fifth with back-to-back walks to open the inning, three straight hits and another walk.
Head coach Darby Ulmer turned the game over to Harrel, who had last pitched three innings in relief on April 19 — as had Wolski. Harrell allowed a run scoring single to the first hitter he faced but a second runner was gunned down at the plate. After a walk Harrel got a strike out to end it with Maumelle down just 10-7.
Matt Berry singled, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Jacob Krepps to make it 11-7.
Harrel, who earned a save for pitching three innings, worked around a leadoff walk in the sixth and a two out error in the seventh.
Booneville took the lead in the second on James Ray’s third home run of the year. Ray was in action for the first time since April 12.
Cody Simpson doubled with one out, Michael Drawbaugh reached on an error and after Trevor Jones was hit by a pitch, Harrel doubled in a run to make it 4-0.
Wolski, Ray and Frost singled in succession in the Bearcat third with Frost driving in his 20th run. Simpson singled as did Jones to drive in a run and set the table for Harrel’s blast.
Dover 7 Bearcats 3
The Pirates, who battled the regular season champion Bearcats for 11 innings on April 19, jumped to a 7-0 lead through an inning and a half.
They roughed up Tyler Mathews (1-2), who was making just his second start because Brandon Wolski and Cody Harrel had worked the day before and James Ray was still nursing an ankle injury.
Mathews allowed a two out double to Luke Price in the first but thought he had gotten out of trouble with a strike out of Ethan Davis. Instead his next offering was a two-run single and Ty Morphis followed with an infield hit, that, with a throwing error made it 3-0.
It got worse for Mathews although he started the second inning with two strike outs — Taylor Moudy reached on a passed ball and Stines hit a two run home run. Mathews got Keeton Shaw for what should have been the third out but Hottinger was hit by a pitch and Price hit another two run shot to make it 7-0.
Jesse Frost came on and wound up through a career high five and a third innings of shutout ball the rest of the way.
At the plate, however, the Bearcats had problem scoring against Davis. They left one aboard in the first and second innings and saw a one-out triple by Harrel go for naught in the third.
In the fourth Frost worked a walk, Cody Simpson singled and after Drawbaugh bunted into a force play, Trevor Jones singled home a run. An error allowed Harrel to reach with two down but a ground out ended the inning.
Wolski smashed a pitch out of the park, but fouled leading off the fourth but later singled. After Ray walked, Frost singled home a run. Drawbaugh hit into a double play but a run scored to make it 7-3.
The Bearcats hit into three double plays in three innings. Wolski lifted what looked like a three run home run to left in the sixth but Stines pulled it back in and doubled off Krepps at first.
After Ray singled in the seventh Frost hit into a 4-6-3 double play.