Valley View baseball drops extra-inning thriller to Little Rock Christian in 2023 5A State Baseball Championship

Blazers finish as state runner-up for the second straight year.
Blazers finish as state runner-up for the second straight year.(KAIT-TV)
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 12:12 AM CDT
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CONWAY, Ark. (KAIT) - For the second straight season, Valley View baseball fell in an extra-inning thriller in a state championship game, the Blazers falling to Little Rock Christian 4-3 in 9 innings at Bear Stadium Saturday night.

Cade Bowman was the hero for the Warriors (31-3), delivering the walk-off single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, just underneath the diving, outstretched glove of the center fielder to send home the winning run.

Bowman earned Finals MVP, finishing 1-3 with a walk and 2 RBI, as the Warriors earned their first state championship in school history.

“It was a good game, I hate it for our kids,” Valley View head coach Josh Allison said. “We made some good plays... it was a good baseball game, we just didn’t come out on the right side of it.”

Valley View (29-5) took the lead in the fourth inning after a wild pitch and a Tyler Hoskins RBI single. They would leave the bases loaded, but the Blazers tacked on another run in the fifth following a Lawson Ward sacrifice fly.

The Warriors tied it up at 3 after a Will Coffman RBI triple and a Bowman sac fly in the bottom of the fifth.

The Blazers wrap up a spectacular season after making their third straight trip to the State Championship game. Valley View won the 4A Championship in 2021 and fell in 10 innings to Harrison in the 4A Title game in 2022.

“Just said I was proud of them,” Allison said. “We beat the 3A state champions [Harding Academy], we beat the 4A state champs [Lonoke], we beat [Little Rock] Christian already this year. They beat Bentonville who was in the finals... This one game at the very end doesn’t define that we’re not the best team. That’s what we told them. That’s not politically correct, but I told them there’s nothing to hang their hat on, we beat four state champs this year. So I feel like we’re one of, if not the best team in the state.”

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)