Panthers win in extra innings
In a 6A South battle Friday night, Benton and Texarkana went into extra innings with Benton winning 3-2 thanks to a clutch two-out hit by senior Ashton Roberts.
Tied 2-2 in the top of the eighth with junior Garrison Roy on second base, Roberts hit a double to score Roy, which would prove to be the winning run after the Panthers held Texarkana scoreless in its next at bat.
Benton (17-4, 9-2 6A South) remains in first place in the conference and will host Sheridan at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Coulton Lee started on the mound for the Panthers and went hitless in seven innings, but allowed two runs — both the result of throwing errors.
Head coach Mark Balisterri said, "He had a no-hitter through seven. He did his job. We just made two throwing errors when they happened to have runners on.
"It about cost a win."
In all, Lee struck out three batters and walked one before being relieved in the eighth by sophomore Carson Holloway, who gave up a hit and walk but struck out the last Texarkana batter for the win.
"Our pitchers did a phenomenal job," Balisterri said.
Offensively, Balisterri said the Panthers "did a great job" against Texarkana's pitcher, who has signed to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks next year.
"They have one of the best pitchers in the state, and we had eight hits off him," Balisterri said. "We hit the ball and did what we had to do."
Benton took the early lead in the first inning when junior Brooks Balisterri scored off a sacrifice fly by senior Stuart Levy.
The game would remain 1-0 until Texarkana scored one in the fifth as a result of an overthrow to first by junior third baseman Matthew Krikorian.
Benton scored one more run in its next at bat when Levy came home off a single by junior Greg Pryor, making it a 2-1 game.
However, in the bottom of the seventh Texarkana scored with two outs to take the game into extra innings where Roberts would eventually plate Roy for the 3-2 win.
Balisterri said Benton will play a makeup game against Lake Hamilton on Thursday.