Blazers rout Saints to reach 4A championship game

Valley View's Brayden Anderson fires a pitch during the Blazers' 11-5 victory over Shiloh Christian during the 4A state baseball semifinals Saturday in Morrilton.

MORRILTON — Valley View hit Shiloh Christian fast and hard in the Class 4A state baseball semifinals Saturday.

The Blazers scored six runs in the first two innings on their way to an 11-5 victory over the Saints, earning a place in the championship game and a shot at the third state title in program history.

Valley View (28-6) will play Magnolia (20-5) in the state championship game at Benton next Saturday at 1 p.m. Magnolia defeated Farmington 8-2 in Saturday's first semifinal game.

A seven-run sixth inning lifted Valley View to an 8-2 victory over Harrison in Friday's quarterfinals. The Blazers didn't need nearly as long to get going Saturday against the Saints (24-8).

Valley View scored two runs in the first inning and tacked on four in the second to lead 6-1. A five-run sixth inning gave the Blazers an 11-3 cushion going into the seventh inning.

Slade Caldwell was 2-for-2 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and four runs batted in to lead the Blazers. Grayson Becker was 2-for-3 with a double, three runs scored and one RBI.

Leadoff batter Wil French had a hit and scored twice; Brayden Anderson was 2-for-3, stole two bases and scored twice; Carter Saulsbury added a hit and two RBI; Tyler Hoskins had a hit and one RBI; and Ryan Collins added a hit and an RBI.

Anderson pitched five innings for the victory, working around nine hits to hold Shiloh Christian to three runs. Caldwell worked the final two innings for the save, yielding two hits and two runs.

Valley View took advantage of five walks and also had five stolen bases.

Friday afternoon, the Blazers trailed 2-1 before scoring seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Collins belted an inside-the-park grand slam home run to highlight the inning.

French was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Becker was 2-for-3 with an RBI; Caldwell added a hit and an RBI; Collins drove in four runs; and Hoskins hit a double.

Anderson pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the victory, holding Harrison to two hits. Becker, who started on the mound, limited the Goblins to five hits and two runs over four innings while striking out six batters.