Central Arkansas Christian’s baseball Mustangs are headed to the Class 4A East Regional next week.
Hayden Cruce’s team (17-7 overall, 12-2 in combined conference play), seeded first for this week’s 2-4A District Tournament at Southside Batesville, knocked off eighth-seeded eStem Monday, 13-0, and will face the winner of the first-round game between No. 4 Stuttgart and No. 5 Southside Batesville on Thursday. Championship and third-place games are scheduled for Saturday.
Heber Springs is seeded second, followed by Lonoke, Stuttgart, Southside Batesville, Baptist Prep, Riverview, eStem and Helena-West Helena Central.
The East Regional will be played at Trumann May 4-6. Teams must win one game there to reach the Class 4A State Tournament the following week.
Samuel Pitre struck out eight in five innings for the win over eStem. Cade Huckaby and Tanner Weber recorded four and three RBIs, respectively.
Last week during the final week of the regular season, the Mustangs swept Episcopal Collegiate, 15-0 and 10-0; and knocked off Stuttgart, 12-3.
“We hit the ball more consistently than we have the last couple of weeks,” Cruce said Sunday. “We’ve tried to really emphasize having a good approach when we come to the plate, and the kids have done a really good job of executing that.”
Braden Quesinberry and Eli Demarco hit home runs against Stuttgart. Weber leads the Mustang offense with a .478 average.
“Those guys have continued to find ways to get on base and score runs,” Cruce said.
Quesinberry picked up one win against Episcopal. He opened the week 5-0 with a 0.553 ERA.