HAMBURG — The White Hall All-Stars weren’t perfect in their state tournament debut, but they sure were close.
The All-Stars’ pitchers faced just one batter over the minimum in a 13-0 win over the Lake Village All-Stars in the 15-year-old Junior Babe Ruth state tournament Friday at the Hamburg City Park.
White Hall jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning and never looked back.
“It was real important,” White Hall head coach Bruce Chavis said of his team’s fast start. “We still had to hit the ball. We just couldn’t swing at bad pitches.
“We tried to be real patient because we were trying to work their bullpen.”
Bailey Smith reached with a walk to begin the inning, advanced to second base on an errant pickoff throw and later stole third.
Chase Bryan then walked and subsequently stole second base to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out.
No. 3 hitter Caleb Carr then hit a soft grounder towards first. As Smith sprinted home with the game’s first run, Carr beat the first baseman’s toss to the bag. When the ball got away from the covering second baseman, Bryan broke for home and beat the throw. Once the second baseman made the throw, Carr took off for second base, and when the catcher’s throw sailed into center field he advanced to third.
White Hall’s next hitter Antoine Luster made Lake Village pay for the play with a two-run home run to left field.
Lake Village starting pitcher William Smith then settled down getting the next two batters out, but then gave up a single to Gavin Bailey to start a two-out rally for White Hall.
Bailey stole second base, Garrett Blaylock walked and Chris Castaneda singled to bring in Bailey.
The five-run first inning was more than enough support for White Hall with the way Jared Chavis and Bailey Smith threw the ball.
Chavis started the game for White Hall and threw three perfect innings, including a pair of strikeouts.
Smith pitched the final two innings. He set Lake Village down in order in the fourth, but gave up a leadoff single to begin the fifth frame.
Smith picked off the runner at first, but gave up a double to the inning’s second batter before coaxing a pair of groundouts to end the game.
“Up until he was pulled Jared had a no-hitter,” Bruce Chavis said. “Bailey pitched well too he just left a couple of pitches up.”
Carr and Bailey led White Hall’s offensive attack. Both went 2-for-2 with Carr also reaching on a walk and Bailey reaching on a hit-by-pitch.
Carr also drove in three runs, while Carr, Smith, Luster, Bryan, Bailey and Chavis each scored two runs.
White Hall will play Hamburg at 6:30 p.m. today. Hamburg beat Pine Bluff Northern 5-4 on Friday night.
If they beat Hamburg, White Hall will play at 4 p.m. Sunday against the winner of Saturday’s Crossett-Brinkley game. Crossett defeated Bryant on Friday, while Brinkley advanced because of a forfeit by Monticello.
If they lose to Hamburg, the All-Stars will play at 11 a.m. Sunday against Bryant, who advanced because of Monticello’s forfeit.