WHITE HALL — Smart Dodge was on a roll offensively, and so was Jake McNulty.
In Sunday’s 14-1, five-inning victory over the Sheridan junior American Legion team to open a doubleheader, McNulty took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, when he gave up his only two hits, both doubles. McNulty finished with six strikeouts and allowed the only run in 4 1/3 innings.
“I was just hitting my spots,” McNulty said. “The curveball was looking real good. I kind of got guys looking at the plate. The last inning, my pitches were up, and they put it in the outfield where the guys couldn’t get to it.”
McNulty said the afternoon heat got to him as well. Most of his previous starts had come at night.
Smart’s offense picked up again in the second game, overcoming a 6-1 deficit after three innings to take an 8-7, time-limit victory at White Hall City Park.
“We were lucky,” Smart coach Chris Bryan said. “It wasn’t pretty either game, but we managed to pull off two, which is pretty good for us, and everybody got a lot of playing time, which is what we’re out here for.”
While McNulty was confusing Sheridan’s bats in the opener, Smart (7-1 through Monday) took advantage of seven hits and six errors in running away from Sheridan.
“Every time out he’s pitched for us so far, he’s been lights-out,” Bryan said. “He’s been consistent for us. He’s one of the older players for us, believe it or not, at 15, and he’s done a good job for us.”
Bailey Smith went 2 for 4 with a triple, drove in two runs and scored two runs, Dylan Cantwell went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI, and McNulty scored three runs for Smart.
Gunner McGathy broke up McNulty’s no-hit bid to lead off the fifth inning, hitting a double to right field. Robbie Broseus then drove in McGathy on a ground-rule double, and Sheridan — which hadn’t had a runner at third in the first four innings — had bases full two batters later. But Broseus was thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice, and Reese Roberts struck out the next batter to finish off Sheridan.
It appeared early in the second game there would be a role reversal as the Yellowjackets charged to a big, early lead. In the first three innings, Cameron Walden drove in a run each on two singles, Zach Glidden hit a two-run single, and two more runs scored on a bases-loaded walk and passed ball to give Sheridan a 6-0 lead.
Caleb Carr then put Smart on the board with a solo home run over right in the bottom of the third.
Sheridan last scored in the fourth when Glidden hit a one-run single for his third RBI, but Smart crept within 7-4 thanks to a run on Jordan Gober’s fielder’s choice and a two-run single for Smith.
The bottom of the fifth would seal the fate. An error at shortstop during McNulty’s at-bat allowed a run to score, and two passed balls (one of which was an errant throw from right field) evened the game. Jared Chavis came home for the winning run on a walk with bases full and two outs.
Smith went 2 for 3 and McNulty had a double for Smart in the second game. Howard, who relieved Carr with one out in the third, held Sheridan to one hit in 3 1/3 innings for the victory. Carr allowed four earned runs on four hits.
Smart Dodge 7, Conway 6
CONWAY — At Hendrix College on Monday, Smart scored four runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead and hold on for the win. The game was called after six innings due to the time limit.
Caleb Carr hit a two-run single in the sixth that would prove to be the game-winning hit.
Jake McNulty had a double earlier in the game for Smart, which will host Jacksonville at 6 tonight at Taylor Field.
Simmons 12, Conway 1
CONWAY — Also Monday, Josh Dardenne struck out four in five innings and batted 2 for 3 in leading the Pine Bluff senior American Legion team to victory.
Garrett Dedman and Jaylen Jackson each doubled and V.J. Dickson went 1 for 1 with three walks for Simmons, which will host Jacksonville at 8 tonight at Taylor Field.