SMACKOVER — Horatio is going back to the state championship baseball game. The Lions got a scare in the opening game, but then won decisively in the next two rounds for a trip to Fayetteville where they will face Harding Academy for the class 3A state title.
HHS - Glen Rose
In the semi-finals Kenley Anderson pitched a two hitter as the Lions defeated Glen Rose 5-0. Anderson walked none and struck out three in the seven inning game.
In the top of the second Parker Smith scored when Anderson drew a bases loaded walk.
The Lions added two runs in the third on solo home runs by Garet Wilson and Wade Beasley.
The last two runs came in the fifth. Dakota Frachiseur singled to drive in Beasley who had doubled. A single by Ryan Vaught brought in Frachiseur with the fifth run.
HHS - Charleston
Horatio runs came easily in the second round when the Lions ripped Charleston 12-6.
Horatio went up 3-0 in the first inning on singles by Garet Wilson and Blake Pickett plus walks to Wade Beasley, Parker Smith and Wyatt Guinn. Dakota Frachisuer was hit by a pitch to bring in the third run.
The lead went to 5-0 in the second. Pickett reached base on an error then Beasley homered.
Beasley and Wilson had three runs batted in each. Frachiseur had two. Orey Chandler, Guinn, Pickett and Ryan Vaught had one each.
The Lions had five extra base hits. Beasley and Wilson each homered and doubled. Frachiseur hit a triple.
Frachiseur pitched six and a third innings. He gave up one walk, six hits and four earned runs with five strikeouts. Easton Leonard got the final two outs. He walked one and yielded two hits and one earned run.
HHS - Bald Knob
An extra inning home run kept Horatio alive in the state 3A baseball tournament. The Lions turned back an upset bid from Bald Knob 3-2 in the tourney’s opening round May 10.
Wyatt Guinn sent an 0-2 pitch over left field fence to break a 2-2 deadlock in the bottom of the ninth.
Horatio trailed from the top of the first and scored two runs in the Lions’ last at-bat to force extra innings. With HHS down 2-0, Wade Beasley led off the bottom of the seventh with a homer to center field.
Next up, Parker Smith was hit by a pitch. Trey Pickett then singled to center with both runners taking an extra base on the throw in. Smith came home to tie the game when Guinn bunted to the first baseman.
Bald Knob pitcher Brayden Roberts got out of the inning by striking out Dakota Frachiseur and getting Ryan Vaught on a grounder to second.
The Bulldogs took the lead in the top of the first inning when Horatio committed two errors. A two out single by Johnson Capps drove in Rhett Roach who had reached base on one of those errors.
The Dogs went up 2-0 when Drake Miller led off the second with a homer to left.
Beasley pitched eight innings with no walks and 15 K. He gave up four hits and one earned run. Kenley Anderson got the win by pitching the ninth. He walked one, struck out one and gave up one hit, but no runs.
Horatio had eight hits. In addition to homers by Guinn and Beasley, Smith, Zach Izzo, Garet Wilson, Blake Pickett, Trey Pickett and Beasley each hit a single.
Coach Spigner comments
After all seasons and all the wins at Horatio, coach Lance Spigner could not help but be concerned about the Lions’ prospects, trailing 2-0 as the innings went by in the first game of the state tourney.
“We were down to our last at-bat,” he noted. The Lions tied to force extra innings then got the win on Wyatt Guinn’s solo home run.
“It’s been our experience that everybody has a really good pitcher you have to get by in the first round,” he said. “Bald Knob’s pitcher did a really good job. We kept battling away.”
The Lions won their next two games handily. “Our pitching has been really, really good in the post season. Our starters gave up only five runs at the state tournament,” Spigner pointed out.
The Lions’ opponent at the Fayetteville finals will be Harding Academy, a team that has won 30 games this season. “Harding is the defending state champion. They have eight starters back. They are really good, fundamentally sound and very well coached,” Spigner said.
“They have really good athletes. Their lead-off hitter and shortstop is the coach’s son. He’ll play at the next level. They have a very good pitcher/centerfielder. They have five left-handed hitters in the lineup.”
The veteran coach said the Lions’ routine before the state final will not change a great deal. “We’ll do the same things we’ve done all season, but scale back a little and try to stay fresh,” he explained.
The Horatio - Harding game will be the first of the final games of the state baseball tournaments. Game time is 10 a.m. Friday.