Greenbrier offense lights up Vilonia pitching | Sports

VILONIA — In a doubleheader originally scheduled to play 14 total innings, the Greenbrier/Vilonia baseball rivalry games only saw 10 innings played.

With the two teams at opposite ends of the 5A West standings, the tied for first-place Greenbrier Panthers (11-6, 7-1 5A West) took both games, 15-1, 12-0, over the last place Vilonia Eagles (1-17, 1-7 5A West).

It was Vilonia that struck first, plating a run in the first inning after leadoff hitter junior Jack Vines singled to right field off Greenbrier senior starter Jordan Huskey.

Junior Grayson Bates followed with a bunt single before senior Brett Justice loaded the bases with a hit to left.

Junior Ian McCubbin was then retired via strikeout looking before senior Dawon Brown hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Vines.

Bates attempted to score on the play, but was thrown out at home.

From there out, Huskey blanked the Eagle offense the rest of the way with three Vilonia batters to reach base the rest of the game.

Offensively, after being retired without scoring in the first two innings, Greenbrier broke the game in the top of third, scoring six runs on five hits.

The inning led off with junior Payton Smith getting on after getting hit by a pitch, then the Panthers batted around, sending 12 batters to the plate in the inning.

Junior Jack Runsick drove in the first run on a single up the middle, and then Huskey helped his cause by driving in a run on a bunt single.

Senior Thatcher Strack doubled home two runs to left center field and then junior Caleb Harvison drove in the final run of the inning with a single to left.

Greenbrier had nothing doing in the top of the fourth, but once again batted around in the fifth inning, scoring the final seven runs of the game and relying on pitching to enact the sportsmanship rule which ends games with at least a 10-run differential at the end of five innings.

That’s the exact ending the Panthers got as Huskey struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth, catching the first two batters of the inning looking.

In the latter half of the doubleheader, the story was as much about sophomore Carson Zachary’s pitching performance as much as it was the high-powered offense that scored 12 runs across five innings to get another run-rule game.

Zachary went into the fourth inning without allowing a hit after a troublesome first inning that saw the first three Vilonia runners reach first.

Vines reached on a throwing error before walking Bates and Justice.

The bases, however, didn’t get loaded as Vines and eventually Bates were both caught stealing on the basepaths.

Vilonia was retired in order in both the second and third innings and retired the first batter in the fourth inning.

However, Justice broke up the no hitter with a single to left. He was quickly erased from the basepaths as he was one victim of a twin killing.

Zachary then retired Vilonia’s hitters in order in the bottom of the fifth to earn a run-rule victory.

The Greenbrier offense plated one run in both the first and third innings, but poured it on in the fourth, scoring seven of the final 12 runs.

To ensure a run-rule victory, three more runs were scored in the fifth and the Panthers let Zachary go to work.

With the two wins, Greenbrier finds itself in a first-place tie with Van Buren, but up next for Greenbrier is a doubleheader Tuesday at Alma.

Meanwhile, Vilonia will play a pair at Vilonia on Tuesday.

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