A May 11 rain out in the Class 3A state baseball tournament allowed the Bearcats to bring back Michael Hesson for his second state tournament start.
Hesson, who would be named to the All State Tournament team, had not lost a game since March 28.
However, the delay also allowed Central Arkansas Christian to bring back Levi Smith.
Smith threw a one hit shutout and struck out nine Bearcats on the way to a complete game, 7-0 win that sent the Mustangs into the state championship game.
The Bearcats end the season with a record of 19-10.
Committing two errors that led to three runs the Bearcats broke down defensively in the second inning. Two runs scored on one of the errors and the third on a bunt that Hesson turned into the second out of the inning.
CAC’s Troy Flowers doubled home a run in the third to make it 4-0.
The Bearcats had their best scoring opportunity in the top of the fourth when Carson Ray reached on catcher’s interference — the Mustang backstop was called for the infraction twice, both times with Ray at the plate — Blakley Cobb singled and Cam Brasher reached on a dropped third strike that prolonged the inning.
Smith got Randon Ray on strikes to end the inning.
Drawing a walk in the sixth inning, Carson Ray was the only other base runner for the Bearcats the rest of the day.
The Mustangs threatened again in the fifth with a couple of hits but Randon Ray turned a fly ball into a double play and Hesson struck out Rhett James to end the inning.
An error and a walk started the CAC sixth, and ended Hesson’s day. Hesson took the loss, evening his season record at 5-5.
Cobb came on to finish a game in the tournament for the second time but the Mustangs scored three times on a couple of hits and a ground out to push the lead to 7-0.