The White Hall Bulldogs led 2-1 entering the final inning of their season opener against visiting Arkadelphia on Friday, but couldn’t hold on as the Badgers rallied for two runs in the top of the inning for a 3-2 victory.
“We made a few defensive mistakes and didn’t’ hit with guys in scoring position enough,” White Hall head coach Skip Carr said. “We’ve got to do a better job of hitting with runners in scoring position.”
While the offense struggled a bit, Daniel Sprinkle was phenomenal for the Bulldogs on the mound. Sprinkle took a no hitter into the sixth inning before3 Arkadelphia’s Ty Kosters laced a ball up the middle for a two-out single. Sprinkle left the game after he completed the sixth inning with the bulldogs up 2-1.
“(Sprinkle) did a fantastic job for his first outing,” Carr said. “He just got up around 85 pitches and it was time for him to come out. It was too early (in the season) to let him finish the game.”
Daniel Gray came on in the seventh inning to close the game for the Bulldogs before Arkadelphia started its rally. The Badgers were able to get the first two batters on base with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. A single to center field from Kris Oliver loaded the bases for the Badgers with nobody out. Gray was able to strike out Jakahari Howell, but a passed ball to Cutler Jester allowed Arkadelphia to tie the game at 2-2 with one out. Jester hit an RBI sacrificed fly to left field to give the Badgers a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom half of the seventh, the Bulldogs put the lead off man on when Justin Archer walked. After a strikeout, a wild pitch moved Archer over to second. During another strikeout, Archer stole third base, but that was a close as he would get to home as Arkadelphia closer Brandon Matros struck out the final batter.
The Bulldogs had a tough night at the plate, leaving eight runners on base as they couldn’t find the timely hits.
“We had trouble moving runners over at times,” Carr said. “We have to finish it when we get runners in scoring position. We didn’t do t hat (Friday).”
White Hall scored its two runs on RBI doubles by Turner Sparks in the first and third innings. Arkadelphia scored its first run in the sixth inning when JF Matros stayed in a rundown long enough to allow Kosters to score from second base.
Sprinkle received a no decision while finishing the game with six innings pitched. He gave up one hit and an unearned run with two walks and 10 strikeouts. Matros earned the win for the Badgers as he finished with two innings pitched while allowing no hits and no runs with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Bulldogs were led at the plate by Sparks who finished 2 for 4 with tow RBIs, and Caleb Carr who finished 2 for 2. The Badgers were led by Kosters, who finished 1 for 3 with a run scored.