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Rattlers Sweep Union To Win Conference Title

<p><strong>Sky high.</strong> Shaffer Loyd leaps to catch a ball in a recent game.</p>

Sky high. Shaffer Loyd leaps to catch a ball in a recent game.

The Magazine Rattlers wrapped up a regular season conference championship with a double header sweep over Union Christian Academy at Hunts Park in Fort Smith.

The second game against Union wasn’t decided until earlier in the week the Rattlers had escaped Waldron in eight innings.

Rattlers 8, 4

Union 1, 3

After both teams had their first three hitters reach base in the first inning and not score, the Rattlers broke the game open with a six-run second.

That inning also started with three Rattlers reaching base to start the at bat – two by walk and one via error – Jason Lovall singled home a run, Brent Loyd doubled home one and Mason Suttles doubled home another in the inning.

Layton Robinson meanwhile set down the Eagles in order and got out of a jam in the third before giving way to Loyd for the final two innings.

Loyd would have a bigger cushion to work with because Robinson doubled home a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to make it 8-0.

Union managed a run in the fifth on a wild pitch. After a hit batter, a stolen base and a ground out got Callaway to third.

Robinson returned to the mound and pitched all five innings of the nightcap. He also hit a three run home run in the third inning to give Magazine a 3-0 lead that Union offset with three runs in the fourth. Robinson got out of a bases loaded jam to keep it tied.

Magazine retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Cody Cherry reached on an error was sacrificed around by Alex Elkins and scored on a single by Jason Lovall to make it 4-3.

Robinson had to work around a double in the bottom of the inning, complicated by a wild pitch, but retired the last two hitters with the tying run 90 feet away.

Ratters 10 Waldron 9

A double by Mason Suttles scored Shaffer Loyd and Ethan Fairbanks got Suttles home on a ground ball back to the pitcher to give Magazine a 10-8 lead.

Waldron got the first run back and had the bases loaded before Shaffer Loyd worked out of the jam to nail down the win for Magazine, spoiling an effort in which the Bulldogs scored seven times in their final two at bats against Brent Loyd, Fairbanks and Shaffer Loyd to force the extra inning.

Layton Robinson drove in a first inning run and Magazine scored a variety of ways in the third to open a 6-0 lead. Fairbanks’ first RBI of the day made it 7-0 in the third. Caleb Shelton drove in a run in the top of the seventh that made it 8-4 but Waldron tied it in the bottom of the inning.

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