The Viola Longhorns came up four runs short of Class 3A Tuckerman in the opening round of the First Community Bank Pioneer Classic Baseball Tournament March 27 at the North Recreation Complex in Batesville.
Viola led through the first four innings of play, before the Bulldogs used a big seventh inning to break free and win 7-3.
Dolan Johnston looked sharp on the hill for the Horns, striking out eight while issuing three walks in seven innings of work.
It looked like Tuckerman would take an early lead in the game, but from his catcher position, Jacob Luther gunned down a runner trying to steal second with two outs in the top of the first, nullifying a scoring threat for the Bulldogs.
Viola advanced the scoreboard in the home-half of the first as Johnston came home on a Tuckerman throwing error, giving the Longhorns a 1-0 lead.
Tuckerman moved in front in the top of the second with two runs, but Viola responded with a run in the bottom of the stanza to move even with the Bulldogs.
Jacob Payne racked up a two-bagger and later came in to score thanks to a ground-rule double from Austin Gardner, knotting the contest at 2-all.
Luther smoked a shot past short in the home-half of the third that plated Jordan Cotter, edging Viola on top 3-2.
The Bulldogs used a two-run homer in the top of the fifth to claim a 4-3 lead and then with four runs in the top of the seventh, Tuckerman wrapped up its 7-3 victory over Viola.
Matt Prinner, Cotter, Luther, Payne and Gardiner hit safely for Viola, with Luther and Gardiner recording RBIs.
The Longhorns traveled to Ash Flat Ball Park March 23 and topped the homestanding Highland Rebels 7-0 in non-conference baseball action.
In addition to picking up the win on the hill for Viola, Cotter drilled a homer and drove in two runs at the dish.
Cotter allowed five hits and issued one walk on the mound.
Prinner recorded three hits and a ribbie.