Simply, if the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats defeat Cabot on Friday, they are the second seed into the 7A state tournament and will receive a bye.
Cabot, 12-1 in the league, has wrapped up the number one seed. Both Bryant and North Little Rock possess 10-3 records. If North Little Rock would lose and Bryant defeats Conway, then the Wildcats (19-7) would drop to third. If both teams win or lose, North Little Rock has the tiebreaker over Bryant.
Even though the Wildcats lost 4-0 at Bryant on Tuesday, a small victory occurred as they held the Hornets to the four runs. In the first meeting between the two, North Little Rock won 9-3 which means they got the cap of five runs in the tiebreaking system.
“That was definitely a positive,” North Little Rock Coach Brock Moore said. “Once they got the four runs, we wanted to keep the run differential at four. That was big.”
Bryant tallied its four runs in the bottom of the second. From that point on, it was the goal to not let Bryant score more runs. The Wildcats struggled at the plate and just managed two hits—one by Nick Butler and the other by Reed Shepherd.
“We couldn’t get our offense going,” Moore said. “Their kid did a good job of keeping us off-balance, and his team played good defense behind him.”
Last Thursday, the Wildcats played their last home game and defeated Fort Smith Northside, 3-1. The contest was tied at 1-all after three innings before North Little Rock tallied two runs in the bottom of the fifth to secure the victory.
Owen Stuckey reached on an error which scored Chase Freeman who walked. Shepherd added an RBI-single which sent Stuckey home. The Wildcats finished with seven hits, and no one recorded more than one.
“It wasn’t our best game of the year, but we played well enough to win,” Moore said. “There was lots of emotion (senior night), and we didn’t play well but pulled it out.”
In the first meeting between Cabot and North Little Rock, the Panthers (21-7) won in 10 innings, 6-4. Cabot’s only conference loss was a 3-1 setback in eight innings to Bryant.
“The last time we played, it was a good game,” Moore said. “We have a lot to play for. Right now, we are certainly playing our best defensively. We need to swing the bats better up and down the lineup.”