BENTON â€” Leading by one run in the bottom of the sixth, Benton McClendonâ€™s Appliance Senior Legion baseball team managed to plate two more runs to take a 10-7 lead over Jacksonville.
Corky Welch was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and, after a passed ball, was able to move to second. A balk, a walk to Ryan Besancon and a sacrifice bunt by Austin Hicks got the runners into scoring position.
Welch later scored on a wild pitch and, with two outs, Ryan Bewley picked up his second hit of the night with an RBI single to plate Bescancon.
Benton came up short Sunday in the finals of a tournament held at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, losing to Greenwood 12-0 in four innings.
The Panthersâ€™ finals appearance came on the heels of another finals appearance of a tournament over the Fourth of July weekend in Little Rock.
Benton (16-4) beat Pulaski Academy 11-1 Friday, then won 4-0 against Fayetteville Saturday before falling to Greenwood.
Against Fayetteville, pitcher Coulton Lee only allowed four hits in his seven-inning shutout while striking out 10 and walking two.
For the first time in her life, Benton alum JoAnna Curtis will not be going to softball practice.
Instead, she has given up the sport and has decided to focus her attention on some extracurricular activities, mainly being more involved with a local ministry.
â€śThere is so much to do here,â€ť Curtis said. â€śLast year I got involved with what is called the Backyard Bible Club and we would go and work with kids in the community and share Godâ€™s word with them.â€ť
BENTON â€” Caleb Garrett hit a two-run double in the top of the seventh inning and gave the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team a three-run cushion as the Black Sox defeated Benton McClendonâ€™s Appliance 6-3 at Bernard Holland Park Wednesday night.
With a 4-3 lead, Bentonâ€™s Coy Fitzhugh issued back-to-back walks to Pickett and Chris Joiner. However, Benton was able to double up when a fly ball to the outfield was caught and they forced Pickett out at second after he ran towards third on the hit.
The Benton Sport Shop Junior American Legion team was eliminated from the district tournament in Sheridan with back-to-back losses to Little Rock Blue and the Genoa Dragons.
Against LR Blue, Benton scored two runs in the second and one in the third but lost 6-3 as Little Rock scored five of their runs in the first inning and a run in the fourth.
Benton and the Arkansas Baseball Academy lit up on the scoreboard on Sunday as they combined for 22 runs at Lamar Porter Field in Little Rock. Benton won the offensive battle 13-9 in seven innings.
The two teams combined for 25 hits, including nine extra base hits. Jordan Britton racked up two RBIs on two hits, including a home run in the sixth.
Justin Vincent pitched six innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits with five walks and eight strikeouts. Matthew Krikorian pitched one inning, allowing three runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Last week five Benton Panthers took part in the Heartland Senior Classic, an annual baseball tournament held in Norman, Okla.
As members of Team Arkansas, recently graduated seniors Stuart Levy and Ashton Roberts and future seniors Brooks Balisterri, Coulton Lee and Cason Holloway competed against some of the top college prospects in the country.
Benton head coach Mark Balisterri, who didn't coach Team Arkansas but attended the tournament to watch his son play, said this was the second year tournament officials invited Team Arkansas, which is made up of players from across the state.Â
Although the boys from McClendon's Appliance lost two of three games last week in Omaha, Neb., a trip to the College World Series made the trip unforgettable.
During an American Legion tournament of 48 teams, coach Russell Goodwin said McClendon's was rained out Saturday but his players "did all right and had a lot of fun."
The team watched North Carolina play both Vanderbilt and Florida at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, and "ended up on ESPN with their chests painted."
"They did well and played some great teams," he said.
Benton Sport Shop lost its last two games, 9-6 Thursday to Lakeside and 17-9 Saturday to Sheridan.
Sport Shop scored two in the first inning against Lakeside, but gave up eight in the second, which proved to be too many from which to come back. Sport Shop went on to score three in the second and one in the fourth before the run rule was called in the fifth after Lakeside scored one more in the fourth.
BENTON â€” Lakeside scored 12 runs in the top of the third inning to defeat the Benton AA Legion Everett GMC baseball team 19-0 in three innings.
Benton used four different pitchers as Lakeside nearly batted around twice in the inning. A three-run home run by Lakesideâ€™s lead off hitter was the big blow but Lakeside also managed a two-run single and a RBI double.
A bases loaded walk forced in a run as did a hit by pitch.