|Lonoke's Casey Martin scores a run against Little Rock Central last week. Martin scored two of Lonoke's three runs against Gosnell in the regional semifinals Saturday. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
POCAHONTAS — It took some extra work but the Lonoke Jackrabbits will play for a regional championship Monday.
Lonoke (16-3) scored a run in the bottom of the eighth as the Jackrabbits beat the Gosnell Pirates 3-2 in the semifinals of the Class 4A East Region tournament Saturday.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Lonoke's Nick Graves was hit by a pitch. He went to second on a single by Christian James. Todd Pool then reached on a fielder's choice. James was retired at second base but Graves came around to score the game-winning run.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third. Casey Martin singled and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Haven Hunter. Martin advanced to third on a balk and scored on a double by Graves.
Gosnell scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 1-1.
Lonoke wasted no time in getting that run back as Casey Martin led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer.
The Pirates tied the score at 2-2 with another unearned run in the top of the seventh.
Lonoke had numerous chances to score early in the game. The Jackrabbits left four runners in scoring position in the first three innings.
The Jackrabbits also kept Gosnell in the game as they committed six errors. Both Gosnell runs were unearned.
Lonoke had eight hits in the win. Graves and Casey Martin had two hits each. Also getting hits were Hunter, Cody Martin, James and Pool.
Savonte Rountree pitched well despite getting a no-decision. He gave up four hits and one run in six innings of work. He struck out three. James got the win, pitching the seventh and eighth innings. He gave up an unearned run and three hits while striking out two.
Lonoke will play the Brookland Bearcats for the regional championship Monday at 2:30 p.m. Lonoke will also play in the Class 4A state tournament Friday at Blytheville. The Jackrabbits will receive a first-round bye no matter what happens Monday.