MOUNTAIN HOME — McClendon’s Appliance of Benton rallied for six runs before the Pontotoc, Miss., Red Sox nailed down an 8-6 win in the top of the seventh inning in the semifinals of the Twin Lakes Classic Sunday at Cooper Park.
Cory Smith, Jake Smithey and Dylan Earnest each produced RBIs in a three-run first inning for the Red Sox, and Jay King added an RBI double in the second.
The Red Sox pushed their lead to 6-0 in the top of the third. Blake Littlejohn and Earnest each singled, and Chase Clark singled home Littlejohn’s courtesy runner, Riley Alef.
Mitchell Babb’s sacrifice fly brought home Earnest for the six-run cushion.
Benton began to rally, receiving a three-run home run — after a pair of walks — from Chase Southworth (his third long ball of the tourney) in the third inning.
Benton scored one in the fifth and rallied to knot the score at 6-6 in the sixth inning.
McClendon’s loaded the bases, and Southworth came through with another big hit, a single to bring Benton within a run.
Jacob Keeney followed by chopping a ball in front of the plate. Littlejohn, the Red Sox catcher, missed the tag on Benton’s Ryan Bewley, who scored from third, and the bases were still loaded.
Babb, the Pontotoc reliever, coaxed a fly out, however, to squelch the rally.
The Red Sox plated a pair in the seventh to seal the victory and book a ticket to the finals.
Chase Reeves scored on a sacrifice fly, and King blasted a ground-rule double to plate the Red Sox’s eighth run of the game.
Babb, a left-hander, swiped the victory in relief for Pontotoc.