The Benton Tigers clinched the District 1-4A baseball championship with a 9-3 victory over the Northwood Falcons on Wednesday at Northwood.
The Tigers improved to 26-6 overall and 13-0 in district. Benton has a two-game lead over North DeSoto (23-9, 10-2) in the loss column with one game left. The Tigers host Northwood on Thursday and close the regular season with a non-district home game Saturday afternoon against Captain Shreve.
Benton was No. 1 in the Class 4A power rankings released Tuesday by the LHSAA. The final power rankings and playoff pairings come out Sunday.
Benton has now won five straight district titles. The Tigers are 57-2 in district play during that span. Benton has reached the quarterfinals of the 4A playoffs four straight years.
The Tigers got off to a fast start Wednesday, scoring three runs in the first inning. Northwood answered with a couple in the bottom of the inning, but Benton put five on the board in the top of the second for an 8-2 lead.
Benton’s Will Hine pitched a complete game, allowing five hits and striking out nine. He gave up only three hits in the final six innings.
Four Tigers had multiple hits. Peyton Long went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Sam Simmons had two hits, including a double, and two RBI.
Cole Horton and Cody Norris both went 2-for-4. Horton had a double.
Garrett Hable hit a two-run homer in the second and finished with three RBI. Coleman Nerren and Hal Gatti both walked twice.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com