Bulldogs dominate Zebras to win Bock title


White Hall coach Skip Carr said after Friday’s Billy Bock Classic semifinal game that his team really wanted to repeat as tournament champions.

Saturday afternoon the Bulldogs did just that, and in dominating fashion.

White Hall scored nine two-out runs while Jake McNulty and Clayton Bowers allowed just one combined hit in the Bulldogs’ 12-2 five-inning win in the Bock title game at Taylor Field.

McNulty threw the first four innings allowing two runs (none earned) on one hit with three walks and five strikeouts.

“Well Jake has been with basketball for a while,” Carr said. “So it was good to see him come out and pitch hard.

“He threw strikes and kept it low.”

With McNulty on a team-imposed pitch-count, Bowers came in to throw the fifth inning. Bowers induced two groundouts sandwiched around a strikeout to close out the game.

“Clayton hadn’t pitched a whole lot for us,” Carr said. “But he’s got a strong arm and a good off-speed pitch.

“He finished well for us (Saturday).”

White Hall (4-1) struck early and often against Pine Bluff starter Gealander Harris III.

Aaron Johnston led off the game with a single but Harris picked him off.

Justin Archer doubled and moved up to third on a wild pitch before coming into score on a sacrifice fly by Kirk Baugh.

A pair of walks put runners at first and second, but a hard-hit grounder to third baseman Jaylon Deshazier by B.J. Pullman went through his legs allowing courtesy runner Antione Luster to score.

Designated hitter Caleb Carr followed with a two-run triple to stake White Hall to an early 4-0 lead.

Pine Bluff (4-1) answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the first.

Adam Graham walked and stole second to get things started.

With one out, Deshazier hit a shallow fly ball down the right-field line. The ball fell to the ground and Pullman’s throw into the catcher sailed into the third-base dugout allowing both Graham and Deshazier to score.

However, that was all the damage the Zebras would be able to do against McNulty.

“I was just really trying to throw strikes,” the junior said. “I’ve got a good defense behind me that’s going to make plays.

“I just have to put it in there and not walk them. I think that’s how most people got on was from walks.”

McNulty’s job got a lot easier when White Hall scored five two-out runs in the second inning to take a 9-2 lead.

Harris had appeared to settle in having gotten two of the inning’s first three hitters out. But with a runner on second, Baugh hit a shallow fly ball that dropped in right field and suddenly opened the floodgates. Johnston, who had reached on a walk, came into score on Baugh’s hit.

“That is a big confidence booster for a team when you’re scoring runs with two outs,” Zebras coach Ryan Stinson said. “But we need to be able to come together and get this out, so they can’t have that big inning.”

On the other side, Carr was proud of the way his players hit in clutch situations.

“We have talked all year about hitting with runners in scoring position,” he said. “We finally did it (Saturday).”

Back-to-back singles by catcher Turner Sparks and Dylan Quickel brought Baugh around to score. A walk to Pullman loaded the bases for Carr, who came through with a two-run single to give the Bulldogs an 8-2 lead. Jake Green capped the two-out rally with a single to bring in Pullman.

“That is a big confidence booster for a team when you’re scoring runs with two outs,” Zebras coach Ryan Stinson said. “But we need to be able to come together and get this out, so they can’t have that big inning.”

On the other side, Carr was proud of the way his players hit in clutch situations.

“We have talked all year about hitting with runners in scoring position,” he said. “We finally did it (Saturday).”

Even the loss couldn’t ruin what was a big day for the Zebra faithful that included a pregame ceremony honoring the team’s 10 state championship teams.

After 13 former players were introduced, a proclamation from Mayor Debe Hollingsworth was read over the public address system proclaiming March 15, 2014, as “PBHS 10 Times Arkansas State Baseball Champions Day.”

The festivities also included a special message from Torii Hunter speaking from Lakeland, Fla., via a cell phone over the P.A. system.

“I just want to say congratulations to all the past Zebra state championship teams,” Hunter said. “Also to my teammates from the 1992 state championship team, champions are never forgotten as we see today. It was an honor playing with you guys and it’s something that will stick with me forever.

“God bless and go Zebras.”

Third-place game

Harrison 6, Watson Chapel JV 3

For the second straight day, the Wildcats couldn’t make an early lead hold up as they finished in fourth place.

Griffin Penny led off the game with a double and came in to score on Blake Phillips’ single. After Harrison tied the score in the bottom of the first, Chapel retook the lead in the top of the second when Davion White crossed the plate.

Harrison scored the next five runs — one in the third, three in the fourth and one in the sixth. Chapel could only muster one sixth-inning run.

Penny and Phillips each had two hits to lead the Wildcats.

Fifth-place game

Woodlawn 17, Hermitage 3

Woodlawn scored 10 runs in the final two innings to pull away for a big win in the consolation final.

A 7-2 game after five innings, the Bears scored four runs in the sixth and six in the seventh to blow out their conference rival.

Caleb Holleman had three hits and scored three runs for the Bears (6-1). Taylor Stitt had a pair of hits and three runs scored. Jacob Richardson had a single, walked twice and was it by a pitch twice while scoring three runs.

Seventh-place game

Stuttgart 12, Dollarway 1 (five inn.)

The Ricebirds won the battle between the 8-4A conference rivals to salvage a seventh-place finish.

Stuttgart scored in just three different innings but put up crooked numbers in each of them. The Ricebirds tallied three runs in the first, five in the third and four in the fourth.

Trailing 12-0, Dollarway (0-7) managed to plate one run in the fifth but couldn’t extend the game.

Jack Morgan, Carter Ward and Lance Oltmann each scored two runs for Stuttgart. Morgan had a single and two walks in three at-bats.

Henri Murphy scored the Cardinals’ lone run.

Late Friday

Pine Bluff 7, Harrison 6

The Zebras blew a 5-1 lead but recovered to win a semifinal game late Friday night.

Harrison scored once in the top of the first but Pine Bluff countered with a run in the bottom half.

The Zebras scored one run in the third and three runs in the fourth to take a four-run lead. The Goblins had a four-run fifth inning to knot the score.

Pine Bluff scored a pair in the fifth to regain the lead and escaped with just one run allowed in the seventh to earn the victory.

Adam Graham and Braylen Jones scored a pair of runs apiece for the Zebras.