By Chan Davis
OF THE COMMERCIAL STAFF
SHERIDAN — After a three-year hiatus from the winner’s circle, Sheridan eased to a 13-3 win over Little Rock Blues in the title game of the 19th Annual People’s Bank Wood Bat Classic Sunday afternoon at Oliver Williams Field.
Following a 4-3, nine-inning marathon win in the pool championship game against the North Little Rock Colts earlier in the day, Sheridan erupted for seven runs in the fourth inning to lead 11-3 and tacked on two in the fifth to re-claim the title from Jacksonville, which failed to make it out of pool play this time around.
“This feels good,” Sheridan coach J.R. Ware. “It has been a while. This was a tough tournament with 18 good teams. There were some good teams over here this weekend.”
The Yellowjackets remained perfect (11-0) on the Senior American Legion season as Landon Huggins earned the win in the title affair. Huggins limited the Blues (10-6) to five hits struck out six and walked three, his only snag a free pass and three singles in the three-run third.
After surrendering back-to-back singles, Huggins appeared to be out of gas, resting his hands on his knees, but staved off an early exit after a meeting on the mound with Ware.
“I just felt drained,” Huggins admitted. “We played nine innings earlier and it drains you. I guess I got a little rattled out there but ended up coming out of it.”
Huggins preserved a 4-3 lead at the time and Sheridan’s offense sent 12 to the plate in the next frame.
The bottom of the lineup, Huggins, Jake Crenshaw, Ryan Taylor and Caleb Hollinger, converted for eight of Sheridan’s 14 hits and scored half the offensive production against Little Rock starter Justin Jackson. Jackson was also hampered by five defensive miscues.
“Obviously they are a good hitting ball club,” Blues coach Jordan Knight said. They are really aggressive at the plate. They go up there swinging. And when you make errors have limited amount of pitching it’s going to get you beat.”
Huggins was a perfect 3-for-3 with an RBI, Taylor singled three times and drove in a pair and Crenshaw belted two doubles and drove in two.
“That was good motivation for me,” said Crenshaw. “I don’t know what it was but I had not been hitting like I should. I just got focused and thought about it. This will definitely help later on.”
Sheridan continues its season at Jacksonville on Tuesday as district and state tournament time nears.
“I think we are going to be one of the top ones if not the top ones going in,” Crenshaw said. “With one through nine hitting like we are and as much as we battle and fight I think we have as good of a chance as anybody.”
Nick Ware also collected a pair of doubles and Alec Pender singled and drove in a pair.
Sheridan 4, North Little Rock Colts 3 (9 inn.): Josh Miller blasted a walk-off double off the center-field wall to score Nick ware with the game winner with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to advance to the title game.
Grady Finley earned a complete-game win, scattering eight hits striking out five and walking two. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth, setting up Miller’s time in the bottom of the stanza.
Miller also singled twice and Ware singled and doubled.
Little Rock Blues 4, Texarkana Tigers 2: Joey Abraham recorded the win to send the Blues to the championship game. Abraham struck out seven and allowed five hits.
Little Rock’s only three hits came in the 4-run fifth. Kevin Garner doubled and Jonathon Thompson and Abraham singled.