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Archer rallies Bulldogs past Warriors


JACKSONVILLE — Senior Justin Archer hit a two-out single in the top of the seventh inning, that plated three runs as the White Hall Bulldogs defeated Little Rock Christian 6-3 in the first round of the 5A state tournament at Shireman Field on Friday.

“I was thinking contact,” Archer said. “Any kind of contact will be best. But I saw a high fastball and I just turned on it.

“That’s all I was looking for was the fastball and I got it.”

With the game tied at 3 and the bases loaded, Archer hit a single to plate two runs and give White Hall a 5-3 lead. But on the throw in, both runners were caught off the bag.

The Warriors tried to get the lead runner at second but by then, B.J. Pullman was already near third. The throw sailed and it allowed Pullman to score and give the Bulldogs the three-run lead.

“We hadn’t been hitting with runners in scoring position all year,” White Hall head coach Skip Carr said. “Guess they were just saving it for this game.”

Archer finished the game 3 for 3 with a double, a walk, two RBIs and a run scored.

“Towards the bottom of the lineup is a lot of seniors,” Archer said. “I think we felt like we really had to step it up (Friday) and really hit the ball.

“I felt like we did a good job of that (Friday).”

After falling behind 3-0 after three innings, White Hall scored two runs in the top of the fourth to get within one run.

After two outs, Pullman — who finished 1 for 3 with two runs scored — singled and Archer followed with a walk. A single by Jase Wilson scored Pullman and a single by Antoine Luster plated Archer. Luster finished 2 for 3 with an RBI.

“The bottom of the order did a great job,” Carr said. “(Friday) they just had it in their mind it was going to work and they did it against a good team and against a good pitcher.”

Junior Kirk Baugh tied the game at 3 in the top of the fifth with a leadoff solo home run.

White Hall (13-11) advances to play Harrison, a 2-1 winner over Greene County Tech, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

“The thought of losing is always in the back of your mind (as a senior),” Archer said. “If I lose, it is done.

“But you just keep fighting until it’s over.”

Daniel Sprinkle went the distance for White Hall and outdueld Nate Alberius, who suffered the complete-game loss. Sprinkle allowed three runs (all earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Alberius gave up six runs on 10 hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.

“It didn’t look like he got loose until the third inning,” Carr said of Sprinkle. “He’s a big strong kid and he is throwing better and better every day.

“He did a great job for us.”

The Warriors scored two runs on three hits in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. With one out and a runner on first, Alberius doubled to give Christian a 2-0 lead. A single by Austin Ply scored Alberius from third.

“Every time I got down, my teammates did a good job of bringing me back up,” Sprinkle said. “… I give credit to my teammates more than myself.

“(Friday) was a good team effort.”

Sprinkle said, even though it was just the first round, the win brought a lot of relief to the team.

“Cause last year, we got out in the first round I think,” Sprinkle said. “It lifted a huge weight off our shoulder.

“I think we play a little bit looser now. We got a lot of confidence from this one.”

SOFTBALL

White Hall 17, L.R. Christian 0 (3 inn.)

JACKSONVILLE — Abby Weaver and Karia Hall combined to strike out eight batters as the White Hall Lady Bulldogs defeated Little Rock Christian 17-0 in three innings on Friday in the first round of the 5A state softball tournament.

White Hall scored 11 runs in the first inning and six runs in the bottom of the second.

The Lady Bulldogs will play Alma in the second round on Saturday. The game orginially set for 12:30 p.m. will start at 10 a.m.