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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Cougars add district title to 2AA-North championship

Thursday, May 4, 2006

One pitch.

That's all it took the Izard County Consolidated Cougars April 26 to put away Calico Rock in the semi-final round of the 2AA-North District Baseball Tournament at the Cougar Sports Complex in Brockwell.

While it did take more than one pitch for the Cougars to knock off the Salem Greyhounds in the tourney finals, they still managed just fine, as ICC topped the Hounds 9-6 later that night to claim the school's first district baseball tournament title, adding that to ICC's regular-season crown.

The top-seeded Cougars' (15-7) run to the tournament title actually started April 24 with a semifinal matchup with the Calico Rock Pirates.

ICC was in complete control of that contest, leading 11-0 in the bottom of the fourth, when Mother Nature stepped in.

The Cougars needed just one out to run-rule the Pirates, who had runners on first and third with two outs, when bad weather forced the game to be postponed.

With the fields still rain-soaked the next day, the decision was made to play the semis and finals two days later, on April 26.

The game was picked up where it left off two days before, Calico Rock at bat, two outs, runners on first and second.

Wanting to grab a shot of momentum right from the get-go, the Pirates put on the hit-and-run on the first pitch of the day. The only problem, the runners ran, but the hitter didn't hit, leaving the Calico Rock runner headed to third on an island, where he was gunned down by ICC backstop Scott Small for the last out of the game, giving the Cougs an 11-0 victory on Adam Montgomery's first pitch of the day. Montgomery earned the win for ICC, working four innings over two days, recording four strikeouts. Curtis Clark posted three hits for ICC, including a homer and triple, on his way to six RBIs against Calico Rock.

With Calico Rock out of the way, the Cougars turned their attention to the Salem Greyhounds in the tournament finals, the only team that had pinned a conference loss on ICC during regular-season play.

As it turned out, the Cougars had an answer for Salem this time around, with ICC posting a three-run victory over the Hounds for the tournament title.

Kyle McCandlis worked five and two-thirds innings for the win, giving up five runs and allowing seven hits while ringing up five Salem batters. Curtis Clark came on in relief of McCandlis to log a save.

Brett Haney paced the Cougars at the dish with four hits, including a big two-run round-tripper in the second inning. ICC crossed the plate five times in the second to overcome a 3-0 Greyhound lead. Haney drove in three runs for the Cougars, while Jeremy Burns logged two ribbies.

Matt Sisler hit two-for-three with two ribbies for Salem, while Derek Estes also tallied two hits for the Greyhounds.

Salem had to hold off a spirited rally from the Sloan-Hendrix Greyhounds in the semis to advance to a meeting with ICC for all the marbles.

Sloan-Hendrix jumped on Salem early, leading 3-0.

Salem restored order and held an 8-3 advantage before Sloan-Hendrix battled back.

With Salem up 10-6 in the seventh, Sloan-Hendrix' Jasper Henry drilled a three-run homer that pulled his team within one, 10-9.

Salem starter David Kingston re-established control and ended the Sloan-Hendrix comeback bid, preserving Salem's tight one-run victory.

Chad Willett hit three-for-four for Salem, while Derek Estes and Dusty York tallied two hits apiece.

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