Host Tigers, The Colony finish unbeaten in Battle on the Border

Battle on the Border
Atlanta’s Jackson Warren is thrown out trying to steal second Saturday against Fort Smith Northside. The Grizzlies’ beat Atlanta, 2-1.


Arkansas schools redeemed themselves a bit Saturday in Battle on the Border at Texas High’s diamond.

Hot Springs Lakeside, Lake Hamilton and Fort Smith Northside were all winners against their Texas competition. Texas schools still finished with a 9-3 advantage thanks to wins by the host Tigers and The Colony.

Battle on the Border
Coach John McClure was thrilled with Texas High’s performances in Battle on the Border.

Texas High and The Colony were the only two to finish the event unbeaten. The Tigers routed Malvern in their final game, 11-1. The Colony also beat the Leopards, 7-1.

“I’m very pleased with our performances,” said THS coach John McClure. “Going into the weekend before you start district play, you always want to be playing well. We got to use six pitchers, and they all threw well. All of our pitchers will be available if needed for the first district game Tuesday at Greenville.”

Longview won twice Friday, and appeared headed for another win Saturday against Lake Hamilton. However, a hit batsman, single, walk, hit batsman and infield error, allowed the Wolves to walk off with a 3-2 victory.

Battle on the Border
University of Arkansas signee Ethan Bates was winning pitcher Saturday against Atlanta.

Battle on the Border features UA recruit

Texas High (5-3) banged out 15 hits in five innings for its lopsided win over Malvern. Luke Smith continued his torrid hitting with 4 hits, 4 runs scored and 2 RBI. Junior Trey Lavender had 3 hits, and winning pitcher Nathan Steele had 2 hits and 3 RBI. Junior Rian Cellers drove in 3 runs with a double and single.

“Luke Smith had a great weekend,” said McClure. “We moved him down in the lineup, where I think he’s more comfortable. Lavender had three hits today, and two in our first game. He’s swinging the bat really well, and has been super on defense.’

In Saturday’s win Lavender caught a line drive and turned it into a doubleplay. In the same inning he made a diving stop, and threw the Malvern runner out.

Battle on the Border

Northside gets first win in Texarkana

Northside won its’ first game in Texarkana by surviving a late rally by the Rabbits. Randall Mason pitched well for Atlanta, but a couple of miscues in the field proved disastrous. Jackson Warren had two hits for the Rabbs.

In the final game University of Arkansas signee Ethan Bates blanked Atlanta for five innings on two hits for a 3-0 victory. Senior Hunter Allen saw his first action on the mound after joining the team from basketball. Starter Max Ebarb suffered the loss.

Bates said after the game that he expected to get an opportunity to pitch and play shortstop for the Razorbacks. His fastball is typically clocked at 86-87 miles per hour, according to Bates. He struck out 11 during his five innings of work. Brennan Browning led the Rams at the plate with two hits.

The Rabbs stranded runners at second and third in the fourth, and then left the bases loaded in the seventh after Bates had left the mound because of a pitch-count by the Rams’ coach. Lakeside’s two loses in the event were to the two biggest schools, The Colony and Longview.


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