BENTON – Benton Sport Shop couldn’t overcome a slow start while allowing 15 hits in a 12-4 loss to the Sylvan Hills Bruins on Bill Perry Field at Bernard Holland Park in Benton on Tuesday.
“Sylvan Hills is a great team,” Benton Coach Steven Tew said. “They hit the ball very well against us. The good thing is none of us gave up. We rallied back there in the end and that was promising. We got a couple of guys banged up… we’ll be ready by district tournament.”
The visitors from Sylvan Hills struck first early in the opening inning with three runs. After recording two straight outs, back-to-back singles allowed a Bruin to open the scoring with a 2-RBI single. A double steal attempt allowed another run to cross the plate when Benton threw the ball down to second base late allowing the runner from third to cross safely as Benton trailed 3-0 after the opening inning.
Sylvan Hills busted the game open in the fourth inning with five runs. Once again after recording two straight outs to start the inning, the Bruins responded with four straight hits scoring two runs. An error at third base allowed two more runs to cross and a wild pitch allowed the fifth run to cross the plate to put the Bruins up 8-0 with Benton yet to record a hit.
Sport Shop broke up the no-hitter to start the bottom half of the fourth inning. Back-to-back singles from left fielder Lucas Ward and catcher Jeffrey Storment, along with a stolen base put Benton on the scoreboard. Centerfielder Nic Murray singled to left field allowing another run to cross the plate when the fielder bobbled the ball as Benton trailed 8-2 after four innings.
The Bruins responded with four runs in the top half of the fifth inning for some insurance, but Sport Shop fought back for two runs in the bottom half of the inning. After a groundout, second baseman Peyton Like singled and moved over to third when Ward reached on an error by the shortstop. Like scored on an RBI single from Storment and Ward scored on an RBI single from pinch hitter Brandyn Wilcox, but Benton wouldn’t get any closer as time expired after the inning was over.
Starting pitcher Jay Davies took the loss for Benton after three and two-third innings of work allowing eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits with no walks and one strikeout. Riggs recorded the win for Sylvan Hills with five innings of work while allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Sport Shop was led at the plate by Storment who finished 3 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Ward added a 1-for-2 performance with two runs scored. Wilcox finished 1 for 1 with an RBI. Sylvan Hills was led by Riggs who finished 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored along with Craft, who finished 2 for 4 with three RBI and two runs scored.