DOVER -- Booneville senior Hayden Fennell delivered when it matter most Monday for the Bearcats in the championship game of the 4A North Regional Baseball Tournament.
Fennell sparked a comeback with a walk-off three-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Booneville a 7-6 victory against Shiloh Christian at J.P. Lovelady Park.
4A-North Regional Baseball
Booneville 7, Shiloh Christian 6
Wooldridge, Hesson (2), C. Fennell (4), Cobb (7) and Brasher; Brown, Clark (2), Brown (7) and Rhodes. W - Cobb, 1-0. L - Brown, 6-1.
4A-North Regional Softball
Gravette 3, Pea Ridge 1
Kildow and Ellis; Chase and Whatley. W - Kildow, 21-6. L - Chase, 0-1.
"In all the years I have been coaching, this was probably the most exciting game," Booneville coach Darby Ulmer said. "It was probably the biggest hit as well. You usually have to hit it out of the park to clear the bases. But he hit it in the right spot."
Booneville (25-7) started the seventh inning with back-to-back walks by Michael Hesson and Carson Ray.
Shiloh Christian, the defending Class 4A state champions, was able to get two outs in the inning before issuing another free pass in the inning to Wyatt Rongey.
"Our kids really showed discipline at the plate," Ulmer said. "We knew we could get base runners if we waited for good pitches. If we took our time, something good could happen. And it did."
Fennell then delivered with his extra-base hit with two strikes and two outs to give Booneville the regional championship off Saints' ace Landon Brown, who suffered his first loss of the season.
"He is the guy we want in that spot," Ulmer said. "We hit him leadoff for a reason. He has started since he was a ninth-grader. He was great then, and now he is a senior. I'm gonna miss him when he leaves."
Shiloh Christian was able to break open a 4-4 tie in the seventh with a two-run RBI single from eight-hole hitter Josh Rhodes. That hit gave Rhodes three RBIs on the day and allowed the Saints to take a 6-4 lead.
But it didn't last long after Fennell came up with the clutch hit for the victory.
"They are a championship-type team," Shiloh Christian coach Moe Henry said. "They are a team that knows how to fight and compete. They made a big play at the right time. Hats off to Booneville."
Shiloh Christian jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the top of the second inning with Jake Nelson and Rhodes scoring runs in the first and second to guide the offense.
But Booneville battled back with back-to-back two-run innings in the second and third to take a 4-2 lead.
Shiloh Christian (22-7) made a comeback of its own scoring a run in the fourth and fifth innings to tie it up at 4-4.
Braden Mueller led the way for the Saints finishing 2-for-2 with two runs, two walks and an RBI. Rhodes finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs.
In the third place game, Pottsville won a slugfest with Pea Ridge 13-11 to grab the No. 3 seed.
Gravette 3, Pea Ridge 1
Gravette captured its first regional softball championship behind another strong outing from freshman starting pitcher Cally Kildow.
Pea Ridge (27-4) was able to score an unearned run in the first inning to tie the game at 1-1. But Kildow allowed just one hit and a walk after that to help secure the victory that gave the program its most wins in a season.
"This improves our momentum and gives us some confidence heading into the big show," Gravette coach Taos Jones said. "We are happy about that. With Kildow on the mound, we are going to be in ball games if we make plays for her."
Kildow pitched seven innings while striking out 12 batters, which allowed her to take the lead in program history for most strikeouts.
Gravette (24-7) was led on offense by Gabbi Curtis scoring a run in the first, Keeley Bulza scoring in the third and Emily Ellis scoring in the fourth to extend the lead to 3-1.
That's all the margin Kildow needed as she had two perfect innings and added seven more strikeouts after the run support in the fourth. The win avenged a loss to Pea Ridge last week in the finals of the 4A-1 Conference tournament.
"We have been battling with Pea Ridge all year," Jones said. "We did a good job today and made some history for our program. We are proud of what we did this weekend."
Pottsville was a 3-1 winner against Lincoln in the third-place game.
Sports on 05/09/2017
Print Headline: Booneville walks off Shiloh Christian