In what was the very definition of a "pitcher's duel," the top-seeded Hillcrest Screamin' Eagles edged past the Mammoth Spring Bears 3-0 in the championship game of the 1A-2 East District Tournament April 29 at the Cougar Sports Complex in Brockwell.
And on a windy, blustery day, with gusts up to 35 miles-per-hour, a pair of Dereks took center stage.
Hillcrest's starting hurler, Derek Wooten, gave up just one hit and three walks, while fanning 15 Mammoth Spring hitters.
The Bears' starter, Derek Henry, was every bit as sharp as Wooten, holding Hillcrest to just two hits and one earned run, while striking out five in the contest.
It was the top of the third before either side could even get a runner on base, thanks to the work on the hill between the two starters.
Mammoth Spring's Craig Ponder drew a base-on-balls to start the third and with two outs in the frame, Wes Coffey later joined him on the base paths, via a free pass.
But Wooten used a strikeout to end the frame with Ponder and Coffey left on base.
Hillcrest got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to a pair of Mammoth Spring miscues, giving the Screamin' Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Coffey slammed a standup triple to right in the top of the sixth with one out, but after Wooten got a K for the second out of the frame, Coffey was caught in a rundown between third and home for the Bears' final out of the stanza.
The Screamin' Eagles tacked on their last two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
In the semi-final round of district play April 28, the Bears scored three times in the sixth inning to slip past second-seeded Izard County 3-1.
With Mammoth Spring down 1-0, Brandon Roberson singled to center, then Austin Lemonds jacked a two-run bomb to left-center in the frame to get the Bears on the board.
Brian Greene scored Mammoth Spring's last run of the sixth, pushing his team in front 3-1.
The Cougars had two runners on the base paths with two outs in the seventh, but Coffey struck out a batter to end the game.
Coffey had four strikeouts, while walking six and giving up six hits.
Izard County's Miguel Hinojosa was once again sensational on the mound, striking out 15 of the 29 batters he faced in the contest. He gave up six hits, while walking two and hitting one batter.
Hinojosa had three hits at the plate, while Alex Gale recorded Izard County's RBI in the game.