Peyton Holt and the defending 6A state champion Greenwood Bulldogs got back in the thick of the 5A-West Conference baseball standings Tuesday at the expense of Siloam Springs.
Holt -- a Louisiana-Lafayette signee -- ripped five hits, including a home run, and had six RBIs as Greenwood picked up a 9-6, 10-2 sweep of the Panthers at the James Butts Baseball Complex.
With the twinbill sweep, Greenwood (11-7) improved to 4-4 in league play, while Siloam Springs dropped to 5-3 overall.
"We knew it was going to be tough," said Greenwood coach Trey Holloway, who also picked up his 100th career win. "I mean it's top heavy in our conference. We've faced some good teams early on. ... We knew we had to come today and get two, and just being able to sweep at Siloam is just really tough to do. They're going to keep beating some teams, and we need them to. So we just need to keep winning one game at a time."
Greenwood 9, Siloam Springs 6
Holt and Greenwood shot out to a 7-0 lead in Game 1. Holt opened the game with a ringing double to center field and later came around to score on Colton Sagely's sacrifice fly.
The Bulldogs scored four runs in the top of the second, taking advantage of two Siloam Springs errors and a walk and two hit batsmen from Panthers starting pitcher Landon Ellis. Reed Carroll and Chance Eoff had RBIs early in the inning and Holt capped it with a two-run single to make it 5-0.
Two more Siloam Springs errors opened the door for Holt and Greenwood in the third. With two outs and nobody on, Carroll and Eoff each reached on an error and Holt smashed a two-run opposite field double to put Greenwood in front 7-0. Holt finished with three hits and four RBIs.
"We just knew we need to score first both games or jump on them as fast as we could," Holloway said. "I thought we did a pretty good job of scoring some runs, got on their No. 1 (pitcher Ellis), who is pretty good."
Holloway said the Bulldogs fed off of the play of Holt, who also played quarterback and led Greenwood to a state football title last fall after being the Bulldogs' top receiver on the state championship team as a junior.
"He's been struggling a little bit, so it was good for him to get off to a good start today," Holloway said. "He's our leader, so when he goes, then we go. They kind of feed off him. I moved him to one (top of the batting order). It's the first time I've really moved him to the lead-off this year to get him and Colton Sagely back to back."
Siloam Springs got back in the game with five runs in the bottom of the third.
Elijah Coffey singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on Isaac Price's single. After a sacrifice bunt by A.J. Serrano and a single by Taylor Pool, Price scored on an RBI hit from Colin Evers.
Baron Meek crushed a three-run home run to left field -- his first round-tripper of the season -- to bring Siloam Springs within 7-5.
Taylor Pool added a solo home run to left in the fifth inning to pull the Panthers within 7-6.
"Taylor Pool hits a solo shot. Baron Meek a three-run shot," Alan Hardcastle said. "I love the kids. They battled. I'm like you, when it was 7-0 it could have gone either way. Then the next thing you look it's 7-6."
Siloam Springs has some chances to tie or take the lead, but Holt made a diving play at shortstop to rob Reed Willbanks of a base hit to lead off the sixth inning.
"He is a game changer," Hardcastle said of Holt. "If he doesn't make that play on the ball that Willbanks hit in the sixth, we would have been in a great position to win. He is definitely the best all-around player we have faced so far."
Unfortunately for the Panthers, two throwing errors led to two more Greenwood runs in the top of the seventh. Siloam Springs finished with six errors.
"We made more errors tonight than we've been making," said Siloam Springs head coach Hardcastle. "We made some simple plays turn into hard ones. We just weren't very good baseball players tonight as far as making plays and just being headsy."
Greenwood starting Landry Jurecka coaxed a double play off the bat of Evers in the seventh and forced a fly out from Meek to finish off the complete game victory.
Jurecka got the win, while Ellis took the loss for Siloam Springs. Ellis struggled early but finished strong with five strikeouts. Tanner Broyles finished the game in relief for the Panthers.
Greenwood 9, Siloam Springs 6
Greenwood 142 000 2 -- 9 8 0
Siloam Springs 005 010 0 -- 6 12 6
L. Jurecka and Presley; Ellis, Broyles (6) and Pool. W - L. Jurecka. L - Ellis. Sv - None. HRs - Siloam Springs, Meek, Pool.
Greenwood 10, Siloam Springs 2
Holt smashed a two-run home run as part of a four-run Greenwood second inning as the Bulldogs rolled to a 10-2 victory in Game 2.
Once again it was errors by Siloam Springs that led to the big inning.
Ethan Williams and Preston Jurecka also had RBIs in the inning.
Greenwood added a single run in the third inning on an RBI groundout by Carroll.
Serrano smacked a two-run double in the third inning to bring Siloam Springs within 5-2, but the Panthers would not record another hit the rest of the way.
Matthew Munday had a two-run double as part of a four-run sixth inning and Preston Jurecka also had an RBI hit.
Colton Sagely led Greenwood with three hits and scored two runs in game two, while Holt, Preston Jurecka and Presley each had two hits.
Nick Phelps picked up the win on the mound for Greenwood, pitching six innings, while Holt retired the side with two strikeouts in the seventh.
Gavin Henson took the loss for Siloam Springs, while Broyles and Brayden Fain also saw time on the mound.
Greenwood 10, Siloam Springs 2
Greenwood 041 004 1 -- 10 12 2
Siloam Springs 002 000 0 -- 2 3 2
Phelps, Holt (7) and Presley; Henson, Broyles (3), Fain (6) and Pool. W - Phelps. L - Henson. Sv - None. HRs - Greenwood, Holt.
Siloam Springs 7, Gravette 6
The Panthers (8-12) scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally for a 7-6 victory over Gravette on Friday afternoon at James Butts Baseball Park. For complete coverage, see the Herald-Leader on Wednesday.
Siloam Springs is scheduled to play a 5A-West Conference doubleheader at Little Rock Christian on Tuesday. The Warriors are 6-2 in league play with splits with Greenwood and Greenbrier and sweeps over Alma and Beebe.Sports on 04/14/2019
Print Headline: Holt, Bulldogs sweep Panthers