In a wood bat-only tournament, Arkansas Pulpwood stood out the most.
The Camden ballclub hammered 12 hits and overcame an early 3-0 deficit to defeat Pine Bluff’s Wingstop 10-7 Sunday in the 17- to 19-year-old championship of the Jim Hill Wood Bat Classic at Seabrook Family Christian Center.
Just another classic confrontation between the two teams.
“You can’t ever tell who’s going to win,” Wingstop coach Johnny Skillen said. “They went to the (Dixie Major) World Series last year, that team did.”
After the top of the first inning, it appeared the momentum from a 4-3 semifinal victory over the Pine Bluff Tigers was working in Wingstop’s favor. Leadoff Addison Grandy started off with the first of three hits in the game and scored the first of his three runs.
Nic Anderson (sacrifice), Matthew Miller (single) and Zach Bradford (reached on error) drove in the three runs that inning. But Arkansas Pulpwood got going with a pair of runs in the bottom half to get on the board.
Pulpwood charged to a 5-4 lead in the third, but only after the Pine Bluff Dixie Baseball team left three runners on base in the top half of that inning. Consecutive singles by Jake Smith, Miller and Bradford resulted in a run, but Pulpwood’s D.J. Franklin retired the next two batters to leave the bases full. The Camden team responsed with a run on a sacrifice grounder and a two-run double by Logan Peterson.
“If we hadn’t had the 3½-hour rain delay (against the Tigers), playing that hardball game we played earlier, and them playing 30 minutes after … after the second or third inning, our legs turned to rubber,” Skillen said. “The kids gave me everything they had, and that’s all I ask them to do.”
Pulpwood scored three more in the fourth on three hits before chasing Bradford off the mound with one out. Bradford gave up seven hits and struck out two.
Ryan Greene retired the next two batters to end the inning, and Wingstop (5-2) took advantage of two passed balls and a steal at the plate to pull within 8-7. Pulpwood gave Greene a little trouble in the fifth, pushing across two runs on three straight hits including a double by Shawn Fiebelkorn.
Miller and Bradford each had two hits for Wingstop. For Pulpwood, co-players of the game Zach Fletcher and Scott Carmody each had two hits, along with Dever.
Pulpwood defeated Crossett 7-3 in the other semifinal Sunday at Taylor Field.
Greene gave up the last two runs, both earned, on four hits and fanned three.