By taking down the Camden Fairview Cardinals 11-5 on Monday, the White Hall Bulldogs stamped their berth into the 5A State tournament, and they move on to the next round in the 5A South tournament.
White Hall put forward a solid performance at bat as they recorded 11 hits and two home runs. The loser of this game would pack it up for the season, and as the Cardinals started to see the writing on the wall, they went into desperation mode.
Cardinal senior Niles Smith got the start on the mound. The plan was for Smith to pitch as long as he could, as he's thrown whole games previously this season. However, the Bulldogs got on top of him early with a run in the first inning.
After some nice base running by White Hall senior Austin Terrell, his classmate Layne Hartsfield recorded their first hit with an RBI single.
White Hall junior Justin Raines started for the Bulldogs on the mound, and the Cardinals were able to do enough damage in the top of the second inning to take their only lead of the game.
They recorded four hits in that top half of the second, and two of them were bunts that squirted away from the Bulldogs' infielders. With the bases loaded, Camden junior Javion Hegwood recorded a two-run RBI single that dropped in left field. Hartsfield then picked off a runner at first, and Raines followed up with a strikeout to get out of the inning.
White Hall responded in the bottom half of the second as senior Braden Croft led off with a stand up double. Motsinger then put a ball in play to allow Croft to score from third on an error by the center fielder.
After Raines got out of another inning with two left on for Camden, the Bulldogs picked up where they left off at the plate. Hartsfield, who was 3-4 on the day, led off the bottom of the third with single, and moments later he stole second base to put himself in scoring position.
With Hartsfield on second, White Hall senior Zack Harbison put one over the left field wall for a two-run homer that put the Bulldogs up 4-2.
Camden Fairview went three up and three down in the top of the fourth, and that would be it for Raines as he finished with five strikeouts while giving up six hits and two runs.
In the fourth, White Hall faced a new pitcher in sophomore Hunter Morgan, who only lasted one inning. On the mound, Morgan gave up three hits, walked three batters and allowed four runs.
Terrell connected for his second hit of the game on an RBI triple out to deep right field. Terrell then once again showcased his speed on the bases by scoring from third on a passed ball. To top the inning off, Croft continued his day at the plate with a two-run RBI double that made it 8-2 in White Hall's favor.
Croft came in as a reliever on the mound for Raines, but after the Bulldogs gave up three runs in the top of the fifth, he was pulled. Two of those runs were unearned on errant throws, and the other came off of an RBI single by Smith.
However, that would prove to be the last run for Camden, and the Bulldogs responded with a few more to add insurance to their lead.
Motsinger led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run to turn the tide right back in White Hall's favor. Terrell and Hartsfield followed that homer up with a couple singles to put themselves on base. White Hall senior Devin Koonce then recorded an RBI double that almost went over to make it 10-5.
Harbison wasn't done putting his mark on this one as he recorded an RBI sacrifice fly for the final run.
White Hall Head Coach Shane Harp brought in closers in the top of the sixth and seventh to put this one away. In the sixth, it was senior Dutton Day who forced the Cardinals to go four up and three down. Harp then inserted Hartsfield in the top of the seventh, and two strikeouts and a pop up ended the Cardinals season.
The Bulldogs will now continue to push for a 5A South Tournament Championship as they play the Hot Springs Lakeside Rams today at 4:30 p.m. in Hot Springs.