After getting swept at Rogers last week, the Van Buren Pointers knew they needed a sweep this week to have any chance of making the postseason.
Springdale was just what they needed Tuesday at Riggs Memorial Field.
The Pointers (8-9, 4-4) won the opener 8-1 and then took the nightcap 5-0.
Van Buren got strong pitching performances from Taylor Anders and Brad Eversole to key the victories.
Now comes the rough stretch of the schedule over the next two weeks for the Pointers. Next week, Van Buren travels to Fayetteville, the defending state champion, and the following week plays at Heritage.
“We need all of the wins we can get because we are fighting hard to get into the state tournament,” Pointers coach David Loyd said. “We don’t have much room for error and we have some big games coming up.”
In the opener, Anders allowed an unearned run and four hits over seven innings while walking just one and striking out seven.
“Once again, Taylor comes in and throws strikes and he makes them put it in play,” Loyd said. “When we play good defense, then it is perfect for him. When he gets his secondary pitches going he is tough because he has a real live fast ball.”
Eversole’s RBI double in the second gave the Pointers the early 1-0 lead. Van Buren added two more in the third on an RBI grounder by Jake Bogner and an error for a 3-0 lead.
The Pointers then blew the game open with two more runs in the fourth inning. Two Bulldog errors were critical in the inning as Van Buren had just one hit.
Springdale (6-14, 1-7) got its lone run thanks to a pair of Van Buren errors in the top of the fifth, but that was all Anders allowed as he retired the last seven batters he faced to end the game.
“It was good to get some hits with some guys on base,” Loyd added. “We’ve been struggling doing that lately. It was good to do that tonight.”
Van Buren put the game away in the sixth with a 3-run outburst thanks to five hits, including RBI singles from Spencer Rapin, Levi Froud and Anders.
In the second game, the Pointers took advantage of five errors by the Bulldogs as Eversole tossed a three-hitter to complete the sweep. Eversole, walked three and struck out 15.
Van Buren scored twice with two outs in the first to give Eversole all the runs he needed. Bogner started the rally with a two-out single, stole second and came around to score on Spencer Rapin’s errant grounder. Rapin then scored on Hunter Hogan’s RBI hit.
A safety squeeze bunt by Anders gave the Pointers another run in the fifth made it 3-0. Van Buren added two more in the sixth on a squeeze by Dalton Kelley and and RBI hit from Bogner.