|Lonoke's Talon Swint slides across home plate to score the winning run against Brookland on Thursday night. (Photos by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
LONOKE — The Lonoke Jackrabbits baseball team is headed back to the state tournament.
Lonoke rallied twice to beat Brookland 5-4 in the first round of the Class 4A East Region tournament Thursday night at the Lonoke Ball Park. With the win, the Jackrabbits will play Gosnell in the semifinals Friday at 2:30 p.m. Lonoke will also play in the Class 4A state tournament next week at Ashdown.
With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Lonoke's Talon Swint walked to start the inning. He went to second on a single by Kameron Cole. Caleb Horton then laid down a sacrifice bunt. When the Brookland field threw the ball to first base in an attempt to get Horton out, Swint scored from second base to give the Jackrabbits the win.
The game was tied 2-2 after seven innings. The Bearcats scored twice in the top of the eighth to take a 4-2 lead. Lonoke tied the game at 4-4 with two in the bottom of the frame. Haven Hunter and Casey Martin led off the inning with consecutive singles. Two batters later, they scored on a single by Savonte Rountree.
The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth when Brookland plated one run. Lonoke scored twice in the bottom of the fifth to take a 2-1 lead. Keith Lingo and Cole each scored.
Brookland tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth.
Hunter was 3 for 4 to lead the Jackrabbits. Also getting hits were Martin, Kade Stuart, Rountree, Lingo and Cole.
Martin got the win, pitching the last three innings. He struck out six while giving up two runs. Hunter pitched five innings. He struck out six.
|Lonoke's Casey Martin delivers a pitch in the sixth inning.|