Ryan White Memorial Baseball Tournament 2019: Diamond Leopards finish runners-up in tourney

TOURNEY RUNNERS-UP: The Malvern Leopards finished second place in the championship game to Hot Springs Lakeside Rams in the 2019 Ryan White Memorial Baseball Tournament on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Pictured, the Leopards posing with their runners-up plaque with Malvern baseball Head Coach Matthew Weigand and Assistant Coach Chance Cleveland. Photo by Gerren SmithParker Freer for Malvern prevents a Lakeside Ram from attempting to steal second base with Braxton Allen and Micah Hollyfield providing infield defense during the championship game on Saturday, March 2, 2019 in Lakeside. Photo by Gerren Smith
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

The Malvern Leopards displayed a productive overall performance over this past weekend to finish runners-up to the Hot Springs Lakeside Rams 9-4 in the championship game in the 2019 Ryan White Memorial Baseball Tournament on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Lakeside.

The Diamond Leopards won their first two games in tournament competition by defeating the Benton Harmony Grove Cardinals 4-3 on Thursday, February 28, 2019, then topping the Junction City Dragons 8-7 on Friday, March 1, 2019 in Malvern at Morrison Park. These two victories advanced the Diamond Leopards to the championship game where they came up short to Lakeside for the second place finish.

The Diamond Leopards' loss to Lakeside was the team's first defeat of the season to end their three-game winning streak.

Malvern Leopards 8, Junction City 7
The Diamond Leopards came out victorious against the Junction City Dragons 8-7 in a dandy seven inning bout at MNB Field. The Leopards scored two runs in the third inning, four runs in the fifth inning and a run apiece in the sixth and seventh innings, despite being held scoreless in the first, second and fourth innings to the Dragons. Malvern totaled for 11 hits at the plate. Micah Hollyfield (three doubles) and Christian Warren (one double) led at bat with three hits apiece. Brandon Scott had two hits, Jacobe Hart, Malaki Asher and Braxton Allen each had a hit apiece. Hollyfield had three RBI's, Asher, Parker Freer and Warren each had an RBI apiece. Hart and B. Scott each scored two runs. Freer, Allen, Hollyfield and Darion Weaver each scored a run apiece. Malvern totaled for nine stolen bases. B. Scott, Hollyfield and Hart each had three stolen bases, Freer, Allen and Warren each had one stolen base. At the mound, Hollyfield pitched three innings, allowed three hits, three runs, three earned runs, five walks and stuck out seven batters. Freer pitched four innings, allowed two hits, four runs, walked three batters and struck out four.

Championship Game
Malvern Leopards 4, Lakeside 9
In the finale game of tournament competition, the Diamond Leopards held a convincingly 4-1 lead through the fifth inning. The Rams rallied in the sixth inning to drive in eight runs to take a five run lead over Malvern, 9-4 going into the seventh inning. The Leopards fell short to score in the top of the seventh with Lakeside going on to victory. Malvern totaled for four hits on four runs with Lakeside accounting nine hits on nine runs. For Malvern at the plate, Asher (single), Freer (single), Warren (home run) and Hollyfield (triple) each had a hit apiece. Warren recorded two RBI's and Hollyfield had one RBI. Warren, B. Scott, Hollyfield and Colby Bergan each scored a run apiece. The Leopards had two stolen bases with B. Scott and Asher each with one apiece. At the mound, Asher pitched three innings, allowed three hits, one run, one earned run and two walks. Cole Carey pitched three innings, allowed six hits, eight runs, no earned runs and two walks.


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