Carlisle’s baseball Bison must win two games in the 2A-3 District Tournament to advance to next week’s Class 2A North Regional.
Ryan Johnson’s team, seeded sixth (10-7), played No. 7 Brinkley on Tuesday in a play-in game for the right to face No. 4 Cross County Thursday at 4 p.m. That winner will move to Friday’s 4 p.m. semifinal against top-seeded Des Arc.
“I think we’ll have a chance if we get there,” Johnson said of a potential Cross County meeting. “We ended up a 6 seed, but I think that’s better than a 5. I actually think we have a good chance. I like our chances.”
The bottom of the bracket includes No. 5 Hazen against No. 8 Clarendon in a play-in game Tuesday, with the winner advancing to face No. 3 Palestine-Wheatley. That survivor will move to Friday’s 6 p.m. semifinal against No. 2 McCrory.
The championship is set for 1 p.m. Saturday with the third-place game scheduled for 11 a.m.
Cross County’s Thunderbirds are 6-14 overall.
“We were scheduled to play them (two weeks ago) but had to forfeit because we didn’t have umpires,” Johnson said Sunday. “So we played a five-inning scrimmage. I felt like we matched up pretty evenly.”
He said keys for his team to advance in the post-season were at the plate and on the mound.
“We’ve got to continue to compete at the plate, and I’ve got to have my guys go to the mound and throw a lot of strikes,” Johnson said. “When we’ve struggled, we’ve walked a lot of guys. We lost to Des Arc 12-2, and we walked 12 guys.”
Last week, the Bison beat Faulkner County Homeschool, 12-4; and Brinkley, 19-2.
Against FCH, Carlisle took charge from the beginning with a three-run first. The Bison added a run in the second, five in the fourth and three in the sixth. Creed Carter, Zac Vanhouten and Coby Brown had two RBIs each; Carter, Brown, Caleb Parker and Mitch Lewis each delivered a double.
Against Brinkley, the Bison bats continued hot. Carlisle led 1-0 after the first, 5-1 after the second, 11-2 after three and ended the game after four.
Blake White led the offense with four hits and four RBIs. Ben Orton had three hits, including a double, and two RBIs. Brown had two hits, including a double, and two RBIs.
“We played well,” Johnson said. “We’re finally starting to hit the ball well. I just hope we can carry that into this week.”
Carlisle finished 9-3 in combined conference 1A/2A District 13 play.