Greenwood’s seniors won their 100th career game with a sweep of Little Rock Hall on Friday but more importantly inched closer to earning the top seed from the conference in the 6A State Tournament.
Chris Hunt struck out 12 and twirled a tidy two-hitter to lead Greenwood to an 18-2 win in the opener of the doubleheader. The Bulldogs pounded Hall, 24-1, in the second game.
Greenwood (16-7, 9-3 7A/6A-Central) still has road trips to Northside and Little Rock Catholic. Jonesboro, second in the 7A/6A-East and the only threat to overtake the Bulldogs for the top seed, has doubleheaders against Marion and 7A/6A-East leader North Little Rock next week.
“It was good to get the games in so we didn’t have a jam-packed week next week,” Greenwood head coach Randy Gardner said. “Tuesday’s a huge game as far as getting that No. 1 seed. Jonesboro’s close and they’ve got a couple of games left. Hopefully, we can hold them off. That No. 1 seed in the East is big to stay opposite of the home team (Benton) in the state tournament.”
Ethan Clark drove in three runs with a triple and a single while Chris Davis also drove in three runs with a fielder’s choice ground ball and a towering two-run homer. Catcher Michael Nelson also drove in three with a double and a two-run single. Hayden Harvey had a pair of doubles. Jake Herrel also had a single and double.
Hunt struck out the first nine Hall batters he faced, needing just 33 pitches through three innings. Hunt gave up a couple of singles in the fourth inning and walked three in yielding a pair of runs to Hall (0-14, 0-12).
Greenwood scored four runs in the bottom of the first on four hits, including doubles by Harvey, Austin Pittman and Nelson plus a triple by Clark. The Bulldogs could have scored much more but lost three runners on the bases.
Greenwood added six more runs in the second inning, sending 11 Bulldogs to the plate. Clark and Nelson had two-RBI singles in the inning.
Harvey and Clark had doubles in the third inning, and Davis slugged his first homer of the season. Nelson and Drew Caple added singles.
Greenwood 24, Hall 1 (5)
GAME 2 – About the only fun Hall had on the night was during a pitching change in the third inning when their fielders danced to the Harlem Shake.
Greenwood continued to score early and often with five runs in the first inning despite not hitting a ball out of the infield.
Tanner Cooper walked, Ethan Clark reached on a throwing error, and Houston Kennedy walked to load the sacks. Austin Pittman and Chris Davis both earned RBIs on base-loaded walks. Michael Nelson fouled out to the first baseman, but Kennedy tagged and scored when nobody covered home on the foul pop. Jake Herrel then reached on an infield single, allowing Pittman and Davis to score for a five-run opening inning.
Greenwood added five more runs in the second inning, taking advantage of four errors, three wild pitches, a passed ball and two walks. Mason Copeland added an RBI-single.
Consecutive doubles by Pittman, Davis and Nelson bumped Greenwood’s lead to 13-1 in the third inning, and a bases loaded walk to Harvey added another run.
Greenwood sent 16 batters to the plate in the fourth inning and added 10 runs on five hits, including two-RBI singles by Chris Sunde and a two-RBI double by Michael Rhea.
“Conference games are conference games,” Gardner said. “You’ve got to win them to get the points. Earlier this year, we got beat by Parkview when we weren’t ready to play. We made sure to not let that happen. The guys were ready to go.”
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
GREENWOOD 18, LR HALL 2 (5)
Hall 000 20 - 2 2 3
Greenwood 464 3x - 17 13 0
Hokes, Robinson (2) and Bailey; Hunt and Nelson, Herrel (3). W – Hunt, 6-2. L – Hokes. Sv – none. HRs – Greenwood, Davis (1).
GREENWOOD 24, LR Hall 1 (5)
Greenwood 554 (10)0 - 24 11 1
Hall 100 00 - 1 3 10
Harvey, Bryant (4) and Nelson, Herrel (4); Thornton, Collier (2), Hines (3), Thornton (5) and Bailey, Collier (3). W – Harvey, 4-0. L – Thornton. Sv – Bryant (1).