Smeltzer, Magnet Cove down HSV in tourney

SHERIDAN -- Trailing 3-0 in the sixth inning, Hot Springs Village made a late rally against Magnet Cove in Friday night's American Legion baseball game but was unable to complete the comeback.

After Matthew Herron scored on an error, Josh Smeltzer worked out of a bases-loaded jam to make Magnet Cove a 3-1 winner in the second round of the Sheridan wood-bat tournament.

Herron, Weston Buchanon, Kirk Shildgen and Josh Walpole were in their first game with HSV, which was without six players.

"It definitely shows they have grit; these kids aren't going to give up," HSV coach Clint Turner said. "They're going to play hard and I think they're getting a lot better. If that's not the best, it's certainly the second-best team we've played."

One of five batters to reach base in the top of the sixth, Buchanon nearly scored on a Chase Pedersen single but was called out on a close play at the plate.

"I'm not going to ever blame an umpire for a loss, but that was big," said Turner. "We got an extra out and weren't able to get that other run on the board. It goes back to needing a timely hit, and we're having trouble getting one."

Herron ran into trouble in the third. The right-hander walked three straight to load the bases and allowed the first two runs of the game on wild pitches before retiring the side.

Herron scattered three runs on three hits with four walks and six strikeouts in five innings.

"It was great; he was the main reason we were even in the game," Turner said. "He hasn't played with us all year and he comes up and throws 94 pitches like that; it was awesome. He did a great job."

While Herron dazzled for HSV, his counterpart matched him stride for stride. Smeltzer surrendered just two hits through the first five innings, HSV stranding two runners in the fourth and fifth.

The right-hander picked up the win with one run allowed on three hits in a complete game, striking out seven while issuing three walks.

Korey Wasson singled and later scored on an error to stretch Magnet Cove's lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth. The Arkansas State signee reached base twice in three plate appearances, finishing with a walk, a single and two stolen bases.

Ben Slate singled and walked in three plate appearances for Magnet Cove, scoring a run in the bottom of the third. Buchanon and Montana Carden each singled and reached base twice for HSV.

"Weston was big for us tonight; he was Brooks Robinson at third base, making every play over there," said Turner. "I hate that he's the one that got called out at home, but he played great just like all the guys we brought in tonight."

Hot Springs Village 000 001 -- 1 3 2

Magnet Cove 002 01 -- 3 3 2

Smeltzer and Lankford. Herron and Walpole. W-Smeltzer. L-Herron. S-Hot Springs Village, Vangilder. SB-Hot Springs Village, Pedersen. Magnet Cove, Stovall, Wasson (2).

Sports on 06/18/2017

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