Van Buren baseball coach David Loyd is already thinking about what the Pointers can do next spring.
Loyd’s optimism stems from a bevy of talented young players on the roster, several of whom were in Wednesday’s Senior Babe Ruth doubleheader as Van Buren Morton Dentistry took on Greenwood First National Bank of Fort Smith at the Field of Dreams. Van Buren swept both games, winning the first game 7-3 before taking the second, 5-4.
"We’re doing good, we’ve got a lot of guys playing in a lot of tournaments on weekends and we’ve got guys kind of in and out of the lineup, some here, some not, but overall, it’s been a good four or five weeks and about to wrap it up," Loyd said.
"I think they’ll be good, I think our guys are playing a lot this summer here and in tournaments, and now guys will start scattering out a little bit with football and basketball and everything, but we’ve got a lot of good young kids and I think next spring, it looks pretty good."
The team’s season is about to wrap up with the statewide dead period on the horizon. But even after the dead period ends, Loyd said they won’t play for the rest of the season as he wanted his players to enjoy the rest of their summer before school starts back up again in August.
In the first game Wednesday, after trailing 1-0 early, Van Buren scored four runs in the bottom of the second on four hits while taking advantage of a pair of Greenwood outfield errors. Greenwood got to within 4-3 in the top of the third, but it turned out to be as close as it could get as Van Buren scored two more runs in its half of the third and added another run in the fourth.
The run support was plenty for Van Buren starting pitcher Brandon Butterworth, who got the win after pitching into the fourth despite allowing four hits and walking four. He also struck out four. Bradley Eversole came on in the fourth with two on and one out and struck out the first two batters he faced to escape trouble, and Eversole added a scoreless fifth to finish with the save.
"Brandon didn’t throw it as well as he did his last outing, he had a few walks but he kept us in the game. … He kept us in the game and Brad came in and did a nice job of finishing it off," Loyd said.
Eversole also gave his team an insurance run with an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth. Jake Simmons drove in two runs for Van Buren, including an RBI single in the second. Zed Steinmetz added an RBI single in the second, while Spencer Rapin had an RBI double in the third.
Ty Wyckoff accounted for half of Greenwood’s hits, as he went 2-for-3.
Senior Babe Ruth Baseball
Van Buren Morton Dentistry 7, Greenwood First National Bank of Fort Smith 3
Greenwood 102 00 — 3 4 3
Van Buren 042 1x — 7 7 0
Watson, Wyckoff (4) and Nelson; Butterworth, Eversole (4) and Hogan. W-Butterworth. L-Watson. Sv-Eversole. HRs-None.
Van Buren Morton Dentistry 5, Greenwood First National Bank of Fort Smith 4