FAYETTEVILLE â€“ The Bryant Hornets are the new 7A State Champions after defeating the Rogers Heritage War Eagles 4-2 on Friday afternoon at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville. The Central No. 2 seed Hornets needed just four hits to score four runs, taking advantage of the No. 2 seed War Eaglesâ€™ six walks and three hit batters. It was the Hornets second State Title in the past three years, making it all three years, but losing to Conway last year.
PEARCY â€“ The Benton Panthers track and field team competed in four events in the Meet of Champs at Lake Hamilton High School in Pearcy on Saturday and finished fourth overall with 29 points. Vilonia took first with 52 points, followed by Conway (40) and Heber Springs (32). Bentonville and Rogers each had 28 points, coming behind Benton.
As usual, senior runner Zach Riley led the way for Benton, winning the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Riley won the 100 in a time of 10.75 and the 200 in 21.67.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK - The Central No. 2 seed Bryant Hornets will be making their third consecutive trip to the 7A State Championship game after handling the West No. 1 seed Bentonville Tigers 9-0 on Monday afternoon in the semifinals at Vince DeSalvo Stadium at Burns Park in North Little Rock. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but inclement weather postponed it.
The Benton Panthersâ€™ season came to an end when their rival conference foe Sheridan Yellowjackets upended them 3-2 in the semifinal of the 6A State Tournament on Saturday at Mountain Home High School.
â€śIt was a heck of a game,â€ť Benton Coach Mark Balisterri said. â€śWe just didnâ€™t get the big hit. We had a couple chances to score some runs, but couldnâ€™t get the big hit. We outhit them. They just scored one more than we did and thatâ€™s basically all there was to it.â€ť
With a 7-0 semifinal win over the West No. 2 seed Springdale Har-Ber Lady Cats on Saturday in the State Tournament at Lady Hornet Field, the Central No. 1 seed Bryant Lady Hornets will make their third consecutive trip to the State Final game against the Bentonville Lady Tigers on Saturday, May 19, at Park in Fayetteville. Bryant will try to make it three titles in a row and are currently on a 36-game winning streak, dating to last season.
Nate Griffin, a former point guard for the Benton Panthers, signed his letter of intent with North Central Community College on Friday.
â€śNate (Griffin) has turned out to be a really fine young man. We are really proud of him,â€ť Chris Nail, Head Menâ€™s Basketball coach for the Benton Panthers said. â€śHe was a two year all-conference, one year all-state player and a good tournament player. Heâ€™s had a great career for us and we are excited that he gets to pursue his education for free and play some basketball.â€ť
MOUNTAIN HOME â€“ Losing 5 of their last 6 games going into the State Tournament, the No. 3 seed Benton Panthers shrugged off their bad play of late and defeated the No. 6 seed Jacksonville Red Devils 5-0 in the opening round of State on Thursday night at Mountain Home High School. Junior left-handed starting pitcher Coulton Lee struck out 12 Devils in his complete-game, shutout win.
â€śCoulton pitched awesome,â€ť Benton Coach Mark Balisterri said. â€śWe played really good [Thursday]. We played about as good as we played all year.â€ť
JACKSONVILLE - The Benton Lady Panthers ended their regular season with an outstanding overall record of 29-2. The Lady Panthers also won the 6A South with a perfect 14-0 conference record. On Thursday, the Lady Panthers continued their tear through 6A as when they took on Little Rock Parkview in the first round of the State Tournament.
Benton, the No. 1 seed, demolished Parkview winning 16-0 to move into the second round with ease. Starting pitcher Jessica Franklin made easy work of Parkview, striking out eight straight in the game on her way to a no-hitter.
Weâ€™re basically a month into the season and former St. Louis Cardinal and current Los Angeles Angel of Anaheim Albert Pujols is batting .190 with just one home run and nine RBIs (as of Tuesday). I wonâ€™t lie, I love it. Once an avid Pujols supporter, he left a bad taste in my mouth when he left the Cardinals after 11 Hall-of-Fame seasons. In just those 11 years with the Cardinals, Pujols had a .328 average with 445 home runs, 455 doubles,1,291 runs and 1,329 RBIs. Those are Hall-of-Fame numbers already.