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Saints get going, advance past Cobras

by Erick Taylor | May 13, 2022 at 2:20 a.m.

NASHVILLE -- Shiloh Christian had a plan in place for its Class 4A state baseball tournament opener Thursday, but it took a little patience before the Saints could execute it.

Turns out, that tolerant mindset was well worth it.

Caleb Anderson drove in five runs as Shiloh Christian's bats heated up in the fifth inning of a 15-5, run-rule victory over Fountain Lake in the first round at Wilson Park.

Anderson was one of three players to finish with three hits for the Saints (16-12), who trailed 5-4 until scoring 11 runs in the fifth to put an early end to an otherwise entertaining game.

But Shiloh Christian Coach Josh Salsbury said he knew it would take some time for his team to get going because of who the Cobras (17-9) had on the mound.

"Their starter has been the dude all year for them," Salsbury said of Fountain Lake pitcher Wesley Campbell. "He's competed, competed and competed, and we knew that'd be the case coming in. But we also knew if we could get him off the bump, we'd have a chance, and our guys did a great job of executing the game plan.

"We had to lay off the high stuff, and we did for the most part. But credit to [Campbell] because once he came out, that's when things started happening for us."

Campbell helped Fountain Lake build a one-run cushion after four innings, but the junior ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. He walked the first batter, then hit the next one before Anderson ripped a two-run double to give the Saints a 6-5 lead.

Jonas Nantze, who had three hits and three RBI in the game, followed with an RBI double to extend Shiloh Christian's advantage. Luke Bowerman laced a single moments later, which prompted Cobras Coach Justin McArthur to make a pitching change, bringing in Preston Riley.

Once that switch was made, the Saints took off.

Ben Baker and Cooper McCall had RBI singles, while Anderson, pinch-hitter Ryan Grossenbacher and Alex Patrick each added two-run hits. It was Patrick's two-out double to left center that effectively put an end to Fountain Lake's season.

"It's the state tournament, and the best 12 teams in our class are here," Salsbury said. "Everybody is going to put up a fight no matter if you're a four seed, a three seed or a one seed. Everybody is pretty good.

"For us, we came out and did what we had to do. We knew we had to find a way to win the little battles, and we were able to do that."

Baker also had three hits for Shiloh Christian, the No. 3 seed from the 4A-North, which will take on Lonoke today at 10 a.m. Anderson also got the win for the Saints after pitching two innings of no-hit ball. He struck out four of the six batters he faced.

Evan East had an RBI double in the first inning, and Kolt Carden belted a two-run double in the third inning for the Cobras, who were in the state tournament for the first time in program history. Fountain Lake also scored two runs on an error.

VALLEY VIEW 15, FARMINGTON 3 (6)

Slade Caldwell's grand slam capped a 12-run sixth inning for Valley View (27-6).

The Blazers, who had seven hits in the game, trailed 3-2 going into the bottom half of the fifth after Farmington (18-10-1) took the lead on RBI singles by Chase Brown and Michael White. But Valley View drew seven walks -- four with the bases loaded -- and got timely hits to roar back and win.

Jackson Stotts and Preston Watlington had two hits each for the Blazers.

JOE T. ROBINSON 15, MONTICELLO 0 (5)

Peyton Nelson, Jack Cleveland and Jackson Ward all hit home runs to power Robinson (20-13) to an easy victory.

Brett Wilson had three hits for the Senators, who finished with 12 hits and jumped out to a 9-0 lead after the first inning. Cleveland also got the win by allowing 2 hits and recording 4 strikeouts in 5 innings.

Cade Pigott and Doerian Allen both had singles for Monticello (20-10).

HARRISON 14, STAR CITY 6

Beck Jones blasted a three-run home run to help Harrison (19-12).

Jones finished with three hits, while Dylan Block, Cylan Madden and Brodey Gilliam had two hits each for the Goblins, who never trailed but had to stave off several Bulldog charges.

J.C. Tollison had a three-run home run and Christian Carnal added a two-run shot for Star City (19-9), which was within 6-3 until Harrison scored five runs in the fourth to pull away.

Print Headline: Saints get going, advance past Cobras

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