Vilonia survives marathon inning to defeat Alma in wood bat tourney title game

ALMA – The Vilonia Eagles began a championship run in the 3rd Annual Wood Bat Invitational with a marathon game and ended it with a marathon inning.

Vilonia's Carter Massey worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh inning as Vilonia hung on for a 4-2 win over host Alma on Saturday night in the championship game.

Vilonia played the first game of the three-day tournament on Thursday with a 9-7 win over Ozark in 13 innings that took four hours, 49 minutes.

"We played well," Vilonia Coach Brad Wallace said. "We needed that to get us back on track going into conference after spring break. Spring break came at the right time. When you win the first one in 13 innings, you have confidence that keeps building and building and building. That came into play tonight because their pitching did an outstanding job on the mound."

Saturday, Massey cruised through six scoreless innings with just 70 pitches but needed 42 pitches in the bottom of the seventh inning, leaving the bases loaded.

"He threw one time last Friday for about 20 pitches so to ask him to do that and needed him to do that to have guys that can throw on Tuesday is awesome," Wallace said. "It just goes to show his preparation. He's ready to do that when he needs to do that. He was outstanding."

Massey was masterful in the first six frames, allowing just two hits, walking none, and had 7-pitch innings in the third, fifth and sixth innings.

Branson Brogan walked on a full count to open the home half of the seventh inning.

After a fly ball, Easton Daily reached on an infield single, and both Brogan and Daily moved to second and third on a wild pitch.

Piercen Howell walked to the load the bases and Cash Wilson followed with a single to score Brogan for Alma's first run.

After a strikeout, Colby Kimmons reached on an error that scored pinch-runner Dylan Jackson.

With the bases loaded, Massey got a called third strike on a full count to cap it.

"We're disappointed," Alma Coach Bryan Fry said. "We didn't give up. They have a lot of fight in them. We went the first five innings, and we hit the ball hard right at them. We kept battling right there to the end. We had the tying run on second base."

Vilonia took a 1-0 lead on the first inning on run-scoring single by Levi Lane.

The Eagles scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings for a 4-0 lead.

Miles Bailey, who reached base all four times in the championship game with two walks and two singles to earn the tournament's Most Valuable Player bat, singled on a perfect bunt that hugged the third-base line and finally came to rest nestled against the third base bag. He took second in an errant pick-off throw, went to third on a base hit by Lane, and scored on a wild pitch.

Carter Brown singled to lead off the sixth inning and advanced on to second on a bad throw, and then took third and scored on consecutive wild pitches.

Brown scored Vilonia's fourth run with a double that scored catcher Caleb Johnson, who had singled with two outs. Johnson had struck out his two previous at bats, both with the bases loaded.

"Our catcher had a big hit to get that one extra run," Wallace said. "Caleb had some guys on early in the game and didn't get a hit. That was killing him. I told him we got a new guy on the mound and look at who's still in the lineup. I had confidence in him, and we got a two-out single that gave us our fourth run."


The Billies scored four runs in the second inning to take the third-place game.

Blaine Hayden walked and Jagger Hines, Brooks Bowman, and Laytn Nichols all followed with consecutive hits for a 2-0 lead, and Kaleb Romero added a single for a 4-0 lead in the second inning.

Evan Bealer singled and scored in the fourth inning, and walked and scored in the sixth inning.

Bowman walked and scored in the fourth inning.

Tye Guthrie earned the win on the mound with four scoreless innings.


The Razorbacks mounted the rally of the tournament with four runs in the top of the seventh inning to win the consolation bracket.

Ayrn Seamons singled to start the seventh inning, and after a strikeout, Talan Fairless and Boomer McClain followed with singles with McClain scoring Seamons. Jaxson Harris's bunt attempt accounted for three runs after a wild throw to first ended up far in four territory that allowed Fairless and McClain to score, and then Harris scored on another throwing error on the play for a 5-3 lead.

Breyden Wiles threw a perfect seventh inning to close out the rally.


Howe jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Paris scored three in the top of the fourth inning, but Howe put the game away with six runs in the fourth.

In the fourth inning, a walk to Cole Wann drove home a run, Gavin Lute was hit by a pitch that scored another run, Aiden Scott and Garrett Smith walked each forcing home runs, and Ethan Dalton doubled home the final two runs.

Smith earned the win for Howe, striking out seven in six innings.

Konnor Edwards and Joel Johnson each scored twice for Paris, and Brady Owen had two hits.

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