BENTONVILLE -- Keaton Cloyd would have settled for a sacrifice fly if it meant he could give Bentonville High's baseball team the lead.
He did a little more than that Wednesday afternoon. Cloyd gave the Tigers the lead for good when he drove in Keegan Allen with his sixth-inning double to deep center field, and they went on to take a 3-2 victory over Van Buren during 6A-West Conference action at the Tiger Athletic Complex.
"I was already up 1-0, and I just wanted to get the sac fly and give us the lead," Cloyd said. "That's what I did. I just wanted to make sure I didn't overrun Devin (Hearn) at first. It was a good moment and a good win."
Bentonville (9-2, 4-0) had been held to two hits by Van Buren pitcher Connor Johnson and trailed 1-0 before the Tigers strung together three hits in the sixth. Karson Coffee had a leadoff single and moved to second on Brooks McDowell's sacrifice bunt before Allen drew a walk.
Sam Golden followed with a solid single to drive in Coffee with the tying run as Allen went to third. Van Buren (7-7, 0-4) then brought in Landry Wilkerson to relieve Johnson, and Cloyd greeted him with a double that sailed over the centerfielder's head.
"It's huge that our guys have responded," Bentonville coach Todd Abbott said. "We struggled a little bit, trying to put things together, and finally in the sixth we were able to put some quality at-bats together.
"We were never out of it mentally, and they strung them together when it truly mattered. I'm proud of Keaton, and we talked about his approach there. I told him to be ready. If it's there, then bust it."
Bentonville picked up another run and made it 3-1 on when Hunter Hook hit a grounder to second, and an errant throw to third allowed Hearn -- the courtesy runner for Golden -- to come home. That proved to be huge because Van Buren picked up a run in the seventh.
Dakota Peters and Trevor Johnson hit back-to-back singles with one out, and Grant Shankle loaded with bases when he drew a two-out walk. Noah Lipe then drew a walk to force in Peters, but Bentonville reliever Payton Allen caused Mason Patrick to hit a grounder to short and end the game.
"We just didn't hit the ball well enough with two out and men on base," Van Buren coach David Loyd said. "We left a lot of baserunners on, and sooner or later that will come back to get you.
"That's what has been happening to us lately. We're not getting the big hit with guys on base, and until we start to do that, then it's going to be a struggle."
Payton Allen, who relieved Tigers starter Keegan Allen with one out in the sixth and bailed Bentonville out of a bases-loaded jam, picked up the win, while Connor Johnson took the loss.
C. Johnson, Wilkerson (6) and Peters; K. Allen, P. Allen (6) and Golden. W- P. Allen. L-C. Johnson. Sv-None. HR-None.
Bentonville West 10, Springdale High 5
Dylan Carter drove in three runs, while Zach Trammell and John McElroy each added a pair of RBIs as West completed a conference sweep of Springdale at Tyson Park.
Joey Aden had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored four times to lead the Wolverines (7-6, 3-1), who banged out 17 hits against two Springdale pitchers. Hunter Mayes also had three hits while four West players each had a pair of hits.
Carter and Carter Bourg held Springdale (6-9, 1-3) to three hits, but they combined for seven walks, and West committed four errors. It allowed the Bulldogs to pull within 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth, but West responded with four runs in the sixth as Carter had a two-run double and McElroy hit an RBI single.
Fayetteville 1, Rogers High 0
Hank Gibbs and Matthew Magre combined on a five-hitter and Jackson Down's RBI-single provided the only run of the game to give the Purple Bulldogs the 6A-West Conference win.
Harrison Wales led off the sixth with a single, moved to second on an infield out and scored on Down's single. Fayetteville (8-5, 3-1) picked up the win, despite managing just three hits.
Gibbs picked up the win, going 5 1/3 innings. He allowed three hits, struck out eight and walked three. Magre got the save, allowing no runs on two hits over 1 2/3 innings, while striking out five.
Brandon Husted went 3-for-3 as Rogers (6-5, 2-2) finished with five hits. Matthew Watson was the tough-luck loser. He allowed a run over seven innings of work, while striking out seven and walking one.
Springdale Har-Ber 15, Rogers Heritage 3
The Wildcats completed the sweep on Wednesday, scoring 10 runs in the fourth inning to blow the game open at Veterans Park.
Har-Ber (12-3, 2-2) bashed 15 hits including six extra-base hits in the run-rule win. Kirby Jenkins and Blake Adams each homered, and Charlie Acuff drove in three runs for the Wildcats.
Landon McAlister went four innings to earn the win, allowing just two hits with two strikeouts. Ben Pollock took the loss for Heritage (4-9, 1-3), allowing five earned runs in 2 1/3 innings.
Sports on 03/28/2019
Print Headline: PREP BASEBALL: Bentonville edges Van Buren, stays unbeaten in 6A-West play