Though they split the last two games of the first half of the 7A-Central round robin, the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats finished the first half in second place with a 5-2 mark.


A 9-3 victory over Bryant last Thursday helped the Charging Wildcats (13-6) as the Hornets fell to Conway this past Tuesday to drop to 4-3 in the conference. Tuesday, North Little Rock couldn’t overcome league leader Cabot and fell 6-4 in extra innings.


North Little Rock led Cabot, 4-3, after three innings before the Panthers knotted the score at four in the top of the fifth. In the 10th frame, Cabot notched two runs for the victory. The Wildcats’ leadoff batter, Drew Menard, did reach base on an error in the bottom of the 10th but the next three batters were retired.


The Wildcats’ totaled seven hits with no one collecting more than one. Chance Harger paced North Little Rock in the first inning when his double scored two runs. In third frame, Chase Freeman led off with a single and scored on Nick Butler’s double. Owen Stuckey also singled and sent Butler home.


Against Bryant, the Wildcats totaled 12 hits and were led by Ryan Maloch’s 4-for-4 performance which included a solo home run and four RBI. Zac Freeman and Stuckey added two hits apiece with Stuckey doubling and finishing with two RBIs. Harger’s lone hit was a run-scoring triple.


North Little Rock picked up two runs in the first and three in the second for a 5-1 lead. The Wildcats added another run in the fifth and put the contest away with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Tucker Sparks notched the pitching win in 5.2 innings and gave up the three runs on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks.


North Little hosts Lonoke on Thursday then begins the second round of conference play Friday at Little Rock Central.