Defending Class 2A State Champion Spring Hill Bears had to dug deep to bring out their championship caliber play on the diamond over this past weekend in Pangburn where the 2018 Class 2A State Baseball Tournament was held.

Defending Class 2A State Champion Spring Hill Bears had to dug deep to bring out their championship caliber play on the diamond over this past weekend in Pangburn where the 2018 Class 2A State Baseball Tournament was held.

The Bears successfully overcame a four-run deficit to defeat Des Arc 7-6 in the quarterfinals but advanced to the semifinals and knocked off the overall No. 1 ranked team in the state Conway Christian 7-3 to earn their way back to "The Hill" in Fayetteville to play at Baum Stadium to compete at the state finals. The Bears aim for their second consecutive state title as they'll play their conference rivals' Parkers Chapel Trojans in the championship game this Saturday, at 12:30 p.m. in Fayetteville.

Head coach Cameron Brown continues to praise his Bears play as they were able to keep a winning mentality on the diamond and fight their way through two worthy opponents in the state tournament to compete for a second straight state championship as the reigning champs. 

Brown knows whatever the outcome this weekend endures, the Bears have had a great season and one of the best years on the diamond in their baseball program. From the start of the season, the goal was set to be back in this position again and the Bears have successfully secured their path to the title atmosphere and aiming to repeat for back-to-back state championships.

"We just excited to be here again to compete for another state title. I think the guys are very deserving to be here to win it. They've worked hard and had a successful year with nothing to lose. We'll do out best to win and hopefully bring home the title," Brown said.

The Bears suffered their toughest defeat of the season in the regional championship game to Parkers Chapel, but now have the chance for a little redemption and revenge in the state finals where Spring Hill is 1-0 playing at Baum Stadium. Both teams split the league title as co-conference champions and will be featured as the two top competitors standing in the Class 2A ready to claim the ultimate prize.

2A STATE BASEBALL TOURNAMENT 2018

Quarterfinals

BEARS 7, DES ARC 6

The Bears had to rally back from a 6-3 deficit going into the bottom of seventh inning against the Des Arc Eagles. The Bears sparked for four runs scored in the seventh that secured them the 7-6 victory to advance back to the state semifinals. Offensively, the Bears collected 14 hits with seven runs scored. Will Phillips had two singles with run, Cam Middleton had two singles and scored two runs. Wesley Featherston had three singles and scored a run, Kaleb Blair had a single with a run, Cameron Powell collected a double with two singles and scored a run. Justin Lecher had a double, Bryce Blackwell had single and Lewis Chambers accounted a double and scored a run.

Defensively, on the mound, Blair pitched six innings, threw 86 pitches and struck out six batters. Featherston closed out the game in the seventh and threw 29 pitches and struck out one batter.

Semifinals

BEARS 7, CONWAY CHRISTIAN 3

For rematch of last year's state finals, the Bears came across against the No. 1 overall ranked team in Class 2A and undefeated Conway Christian Eagles to meet in the state semifinals. The Bears held ground and defeated Conway Christian 7-3 for the four-run victory to hand the Eagles their first loss of the season and officially earn the opportunity to journey back to the big stage of high school baseball once again. Offensively, the Bears were led in the frame by Phillips with two singles and run, Middleton had a double with two singles, Featherston had two singles and a run, Levi Kidd had a double, single and one run scored. Blair collected two singles and a run and Lecher had a single. Powell scored a run, Chambers had a single and Blackwell scored a run with two singles. 

Defensively, Featherston earned the win pitching a complete game and throwing 108 pitches and struck out five batters from seven inning of work on the mound. The loss put the No.1 ranked team Conway Christian at 25-1 overall this season and giving the Bears back-to-back wins since their play in the regionals.