There will be no repeat state championship for the Cabot Panthers’ baseball team.
Cabot, the defending Class 7A state champions, were beat by Van Buren 5-3 in nine innings in the second round of the state tournament Friday at North Little Rock’s Burns Park.
Cabot, which had a first-round bye, ends its season at 22-7.
The score was tied 3-3 after seven innings. Cabot trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Dillon Thomas led off the frame with a solo home run to tie the game at 3-3.
Cabot’s Kyler Franks and Zach Slunder were stranded in scoring position to end the frame.
Cabot had another chance to win it in the bottom of the eight. Rail Gilliam and Thomas both reached base but were stranded at second and first to end the threat.
The Pointers scored two runs in the top of the ninth to take the lead.
Cabot then stranded two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth.
Cabot led 2-0 after three innings. Franks led off with a walk and scored on a triple by Houston King. Brodey Schluter followed with another triple, driving in King with the second run.
Van Buren scored two runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. The Pointers scored a single run in the top of the seventh to take a 3-2 lead before Thomas’ homer sent the game into extra innings.
Cabot left nine runners on base.
The Panthers had six hits in the game. Thomas led Cabot with two hits. Also getting base hits were King, Schluter, Gilliam and Jackson Olivi.
Schluter pitched 6 2/3 innings. He gave up nine hits and three runs while striking out six. Ty Cyr got the loss, pitching the last 2 1/3 innings. He gave up two hits on two hits. He struck out two.
Jackson Hurst hit a home run for Van Buren, He drove in three of Van Buren’s five runs.