FAYETTEVILLE — Arkadelphia survived a seventh-inning rally to win its first-ever baseball state championship 5-4 over Stuttgart Saturday at Baum Stadium at the University of Arkansas.
Stuttgart had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. With one out, Regan Counce hit an infield single and Gere Elam followed with a single to left field.
That’s when Arkadelphia head coach Brant Matros decided his starter J.F. Matros had enough. He replaced him with his brother Brandon Matros.
Matros got Dontrell Brown to ground out and Trent Daniels to strike out to end the game.
J.F. Matros was named the most valuable player after pitching 6 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Arkadelphia (22-7) scored three runs in the top of the third to take a 3-2 lead over the Ricebirds (18-9).
After Brandon Matros was hit-by-a-pitch to start the inning, he moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Matros moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Cutter Jester to put the Badgers on the board, pulling within 2-1.
Jester stole second and later scored on a double by Jakahari Howell. A single by Ty Kosters put two runners and Howell scored on a fielder’s choice to give Arkadelphia the 3-2 lead.
The Badgers scored two more runs in the top of the fourth to take a 5-2 lead.
Stuttgart would get those two runs back by scoring two runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth.
Jacob Clawson led off the inning with a walk and a stolen base. Clawson moved to third with two outs and scored on an RBI double by Hunter Harris.
Counce hit an RBI single to cut the deficit to 5-4.
For Stuttgart, Counce took the loss after allowing five runs (three earned) on four hits with a walk. Jon Curtis pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed just two hits with one walk.
Stuttgart also scored a run in the first and second innings.
Arkadelphia 003 200 0 – 5 6 3
Stuttgart 110 200 0 – 4 8 2
W – J.F. Matros (Arkadelphia). L – Regan Counce (Stuttgart).
Hits — Jakahari Howell, Ty Kosters, J.F. Matros, Jacob Knight, Clay Wilson, and Cutter Jester (Arkadelphia); Regan Counce (2), Gere Elam (2), Dontrell Brown, Taylor Daniels, Jon Curtis, and Hunter Harris (Stuttgart).
2B – Howell (Arkadelphia); Harris, Elam (Stuttgart).
SB – Jester, Matros (2) (Arkadelphia); Jacob Clawson (Stuttgart).
HBP – Curtis, Counce (2) (Stuttgart).