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Rattlers Win State Opener, Make It Back To Graduate

Friday was an eventful day for the five seniors on the Magazine Rattler baseball team.

After playing, and winning 5-3, an opening first round Class 2A state tournament game, the Rattler upperclassmen were transported at, perhaps, speeds greater than posted, back from Woodlawn High School near Rison in time for a slightly delayed commencement exercises.

Saturday was less dramatic, as the Rattlers were bounced from the field with a 12-2 loss to Walnut Ridge in a game played at Taylor Field in Pine Bluff.

When the tournament was pushed back from a Thursday to a Friday start date due to the weather, efforts were made to move the Rattler game with Abundant Life from the 12:30 to the 10 a.m. time slot but one of the affected schools was unwilling to make the change.

Then, the 10 a.m. game ran longer than allotted and the 12:30 game actually started late.

Rattlers 5

Abundant Life 3

The Rattlers broke a 3-3 tie with Cody Cherry’s RBI double that plated a courtesy runner for Cody Shelton after the catcher drew a one-out walk. Cherry reached third on an outfield error but was stranded.

Magazine actually scored single runs in five different innings, including the sixth when Layton Robinson singled moved to second on a single by Ethan Fairbanks and moved to third and scored on passed balls.

Robinson also threw a 136-pitch complete game for the Rattlers allowing just three hits, but having three of 17 strike out victims to reach base – he twice struck out four in an inning – including one that scored in Abundant Life’s three run fourth inning.

Up to that point Shaffer Loyd had been the star, scoring twice and driving in a run. In the first Loyd walked and after Mason Suttles reached on an error and Robinson walked, Jason Lovell drew a bases loaded walk to score Loyd.

In the third Loyd lead off with a walk and Suttles followed with a single. An error allowed Robinson to reach and it was 2-0.

Austin Canada drew a one-out walk in the fourth and after a sacrifice by Brent Loyd, Shaffer Loyd singled Canada home to make it 3-0.

Walnut Ridge 12

Rattlers 2

Brent Loyd started the game with a 1-2-3 first but it went south in a hurry in the second when Walnut Ridge sent 13 men to the plate and scored nine times against Brent Loyd and Shaffer Loyd.

Walnut Ridge did not score in the third but added four more in the fourth to make it 12-2.

The Rattlers had scored twice in the third when Alex Elkins and Austin Canada both walked to start the inning. Brent Loyd hit into a fielder’s choice. Shaffer Loyd drove in a run with a fly ball to center and a single by Mason Suttles plated the second run.

Regional

The Rattlers went into the state tournament as a three seed from the West after a coin flip on Monday.

Magazine first lost to St. Joseph’s 12-0 in a semi-final game – St. Joseph’s took advantage of six walks in the first two innings to open a 10-0 lead – and the Rattlers were set to play the third place game later in the day.

Instead, it would be rained out, forcing a toss of a coin to give the Rattlers the three seed and Union Christian Academy the four seed.

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