Harding Academy baseball wins third straight 3A State Championship, beats Rivercrest

Wildcats celebrate after winning 3rd straight 3A State Title Saturday
Wildcats celebrate after winning 3rd straight 3A State Title Saturday(KAIT-TV)
Published: May. 20, 2023 at 9:25 PM CDT
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CONWAY, Ark. (KAIT) - Harding Academy baseball won its third straight 3A State Championship, beating Rivercrest 10-0 in five innings at Bear Stadium Saturday.

The Wildcats (25-7) scored five times in the third and fourth to secure the win. Kyler Hoover, Kam Hoover and Brody Myers combined for six hits, six runs and three RBI in the win. Kyler took home MVP honors after finishing 2-3 with 3 RBI. He put the Wildcats on the board first following a 2-RBI single in the third.

Arkansas signee Kade Smith struck out four and allowed two hits over five innings of work for Harding Academy.

“I’ll just tell you this, Kade is just a special, special human being, inside and out,” Harding Academy head coach Shane Fullerton said. “He and Levi Lang have just been the heart of what we’ve been doing, along with James Henley our left fielder who’s been a three-time all-conference guy. And then Cade Pryor our 4th senior, came in and ran today, got some big bases. Kade, Levi, Dan, and Pryor all leave a legacy of leadership at Harding that won’t soon be forgotten.”

Jaxon Kilburn and Kevin Morris had the only hits, both doubles, for the Colts (21-4), who made their first state final appearance since 2009.

“We kept battling, missed some spots pitching and stuff like that,” Rivercrest head coach Stephan Elrod said. “Early in the game, we just could never get that big that would put us on the board. And you never know what happens if you get that one hit. I’m proud of my kids and the season that we had. We played really good ball. It’s the first 20-win season that Rivercrest has had since 2009. So we’re tickled to death with what we’ve accomplished this year, just fell one game short.”

2023 Weekend of Champions

Riverside 1, Mansfield 0 (2A Softball Championship)

Woodlawn 3, Palestine-Wheatley 2 (2A Baseball Championship)

Booneville 4, Atkins 3 (3A Softball Championship)

Benton 7, Greene County Tech 0 (5A Softball Championship)

Harding Academy 10, Rivercrest 0 (3A Baseball Championship, 5 innings)

Little Rock Christian 4, Valley View 3 (5A Baseball Championship, 9 innings)

Har-Ber 5, Bentonville 1 (6A Baseball Championship)

Bryant 8, Cabot 5 (6A Softball Championship)

Lonoke 6, Ashdown 3 (4A Baseball Championship)

Gravette 5, Pea Ridge 1 (4A Softball Championship)

Taylor 9, Mount Ida 3 (1A Baseball Championship)

Taylor 12, Bradley 2 (1A Softball Championship)

Conway 3, Springdale 2 (6A Boys Soccer Championship)

Russellville 1, Lakeside 0 (5A Boys Soccer Championship)

Harrison 1, Pulaski Academy 0 (5A Girls Soccer Championship)

De Queen 5, Dardanelle 2 (4A Boys Soccer Championship)

Green Forest 4, Haas Hall 1 (3A Boys Soccer Championship)