Terrance Armstard/News-Times El Dorado's Brennan Smith swings at a pitch during the Wildcats' contest against Ashdown on Thursday. The Wildcats overcame a 6-2 deficit to top the Panthers 7-6 in eight innings.
EL DORADO - El Dorado used a combination of long ball and small ball to pick up a non-conference win on Thursday, as the Wildcats overcame a four-run deficit to top Ashdown 7-6 in eight innings.
Down 6-4 with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcats were down to their final out.
However, Brennan Smith kept the Wildcats alive by drawing a walk, setting the stage for Derek Jobe.
A sophomore, Jobe belted a 2-1 pitch over the fence in left for a game-tying two-run homer.
El Dorado (9-12) then turned to small ball to win the game in the eighth.
Micah Haney led off the frame by reaching on a throwing error after hitting a grounder to shortstop.
The Wildcats were in business after a high throw to second on a bunt to the mound by Connor Cates put runners at first and second.
Daniel Johnson then followed with a bunt to the left side of the pitcher's mound, but a high throw to third to nab courtesy runner Josh Perry went down the right-field line, allowing the senior to score the game-winning run.
"We've had a lot of practice time because of rainouts. We have testing this week, and a lot of events going on, so we had a lot of good practice where we did work with some bunts," said El Dorado coach Sam Tyler. "The guys really were focused. I saw some intensity level, especially after Monday going into Tuesday and Wednesday. We had a good practice yesterday."
The Wildcats' rally made a winner of Cates, who turned in a terrific performance out of the bullpen.
The senior tossed four shutout innings, allowing just two hits. He walked two and struck out three.
The Wildcats found themselves trailing 6-2 after the Panthers scored four runs in the fourth, but they began to chip away.
El Dorado cut the Panthers' lead in half with two runs in the fifth.
With one out, Noah Gaul singled and Jacob Boshears doubled to put runners at second and third.
Smith then drove in a run with an infield single, and Jobe delivered an RBI single to make it 6-4.
Jobe, who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, helped key El Dorado's two-run first that opened the scoring.
Blake Cunningham led off with a single, but was erased on a fielder's choice by Gaul.
Gaul then stole second, went to third on Boshears' ground out to second and scored when Smith's ground ball to second was misplayed for an error.
Jobe kept the inning going with an infield single, and Leighton Turbeville followed with an RBI single to right.
The Panthers tied the game in the third on a two-run homer by Kaden Stuart, and then took the lead in the fourth.
Stuart went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, coming up a single short of hitting for the cycle.
Gage Otwell surrendered eight hits and six runs in four innings of work. He walked two and struck out one.
Overall, the Wildcats had 10 hits in the contest with eight of their starters registering at least one hit.
"You have to give credit to those guys, because they were hungry," Tyler said. "They didn't give up. Down 6-2, they could've checked it in, but our players did a great job of staying positive and we executed on those little things. I thought we did a good job of putting the ball in play today. We didn't strike out very much, and that was a key to our victory."
El Dorado will wrap up their week today by playing at Hope.
Game time is set for 4:30 p.m.
Junction City 18,
Drew Central 0
MONTICELLO - The Dragons (19-9) formally locked up the No. 1 seed for next week's 8-3A District Tournament, which will be hosted by Smackover.
Seven different players had at least one hit for the Dragons with four collecting two hits.
Logan Disotell drove in four runs, finishing with a single and a double.
Jack Smith had a single, a double and two RBIs, while Bryce Ware and Charles Hoof each had two singles and two RBIs.
Clay Jolley and Brock McGoogan each had a single and two RBIs, and Joe Lowe had a single and an RBI. Keelan Hodge collected an RBI with a sacrifice fly.
Disotell picked up the win on the mound, allowing three hits in three scoreless innings. He walked three and struck out five.
Lowe walked one, struck out two and allowed one hit in one scoreless frame of work.
Junction City will finish the regular season on Monday at Parkers Chapel.