By John R. Schirmer
For the second time in two years, the Nashville Scrappers will play Shiloh Christian for the Class 4A state baseball championship.
The game is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at Baum Stadium on the campus of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Nashville won 4-1 last year to claim the state title.
The Scrappers (29-5 on the season) enter the rematch after defeating District 7-4A rival Malvern 11-4 in the state semifinals Saturday, May 12, at Wilson Park.
Malvern took a 2-1 lead in the first inning and went ahead 3-1 in the third.
The Scrappers rallied for 5 runs in the top of the fifth, then added 4 in the sixth and 1 in the seventh to advance to the state finals.
Austin Hanson was the leading scorer with 3 runs. Ty Gordon and Aaron Lott had 2 each, with 1 run a piece by Caiden Erwin, Tyler Hanson, Cason Drummond and Will Pope.
The Scrappers’ 11 runs came off 8 hits, led by Tyler Hanson with 2. Colton Patterson, Jaydon Hostetler, Chris Willard, Gordon, Tristen Jamison and Lott each added a hit.
Nashville recorded 7 RBIs, led by Hostetler with 3. Hanson had 2, with 1 each from Willard and Gordon.
The Scrappers left 5 on base.
Willard pitched 4.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and striking out 7 Leopards.
Hostetler finished the game, giving up 1 run on 1 hit with 3 strikeouts.
The Scrappers faced Central Arkansas Christian Friday, May 11, in the quarterfinals and came away with a 7-1 victory over the Mustangs.
The game was close early, with Nashville leading 1-0 through the first 2 innings. CAC tied the score with a run in the bottom of the third. From there, the Scrappers outscored the Mustangs 6-0 for the victory at Wilson Park.
Willard, Gordon and Hanson scored 2 runs each, with Hostetler adding 1. Gordon hit 2 home runs in the game.
Nashville had 7 hits, led by Gordon with 2. Patterson, Hostetler, Willard, Drummond and Lott had 1 hit each.
Nashville posted 7 RBIs, led by Gordon with 4. Willard had 2, with 1 from Jamison.
Jamison pitched 7 innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits and striking out 6 Mustangs.
The Scrappers opened the state tournament with a 9-3 win over Dardanelle Thursday, May 10.
The Sand Lizards took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first before the Scrappers went ahead 2-1 in the top of the second. Nashville would not trail again, outscoring Dardanelle 7-2 the rest of the way.
Hostetler, Jamison and Erwin scored 2 runs each for Nashville, with 1 a piece from Willard, Gordon and Drummond.
The Scrappers had 9 hits, led by 3 from Gordon. Tyler Hanson had 2, with 1 a piece from Patterson, Willard, Middleton and Lott.
Hanson pitched the first 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with 4 strikeouts.
Hostetler finished the game, giving up no runs and no hits with 1 strikeout.