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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cougars claw out regional championship

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The roll continues on the baseball diamond for the Izard County Cougars.After earning titles in the regular season and district tournament, the Cougars (17-10) can now add another regional tournament title to their list of accomplishments this season.The Cougars topped the Calico Rock Pirates 11-2 May 6 to take top honors in the 1A Region 2 Tournament at the Cougar Sports Complex in Brockwell.Curtis Clark tossed a complete-game victory for Izard County, giving up just three hits and three walks while striking out nine Pirates.Joey Vannatter started the game for Calico Rock, but arm problems limited him to just a single inning of work. Vannatter gave up one hit during his stint on the hill. Zack Brandon relieved Vannatter and gave up seven hits while fanning four.Izard County set the tone with three runs in the home half of the first inning.After Dustin Noblin (hit), Kyle McCandlis and Clark reached safely on three free passes, Scott Small got his busy evening started with a three-run double to deep left that gave the Cougars a 3-0 advantage. Small racked up a single, two doubles and five ribbies in the game.Calico Rock tried to keep pace by scoring a run in the top of the second.Vannatter hit safely and then swiped second. After a hit from Haden Williams, Alex Skidmore brought Vannatter in via a sacrifice fly, pulling the Pirates within two runs of Izard County.The tournament hosts added a run in the bottom of the third as Small smacked his second double of the game, bringing in Jeremy Burns (two hits).The Pirates last run of the contest came in the fourth, with Vannatter reaching base on a throwing error, and later coming home on another throwing error, making it 4-2, Izard County.Crossing the plate four times in the bottom of the fourth, Izard County managed to open a bit of breathing room.Steven Walker ripped a double to get things started, and McCandlis followed suit with a two-bagger that plated Noblin. Clark followed that with a sacrifice fly before the Cougars last two runs of the frame came courtesy of a pair of Calico Rock fielding errors, pushing Izard County on top 8-2 after four.Izard County tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth, the first on a fielder's choice from Walker, the second on a solo homer from McCandlis.The Cougars added one more run to their tally, on an RBI-single from Small that rounded out Izard County's 11-2 title-clinching victory.Brayden McCurley hit safely for Calico Rock.Small, Clark, Ethan Porter, Noblin and McCandlis were named to the All-Regional squad for Izard County.Jarrett Morehead, Brandon, Marshall Branscum and Vannatter all earned All-Regional honors for Calico Rock.

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