BENTONVILLE -- Bentonville took advantage of some Conway defensive struggles to take an early lead, but Conway had an answer and the Wampus Cats pitchers did the rest to pick up the win Wednesday at the Tiger Athletic Complex.
Arkansas State commit Jordan Wicks didn't give up an earned run and also went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead Conway to an 8-4 win.
Conway 8, Bentonville 4
Wicks, Kendrick (5), Hicks (6) and Stroth; Jackson, Hook (4), Johnson (7) and Knight, Golden (7). W-Wicks, 1-0. L-Jackson, 0-1. HRs-None.
Conway coach Noel Boucher liked the way his team put together a big five-run third inning, but he wasn't pleased with his team's four errors. The Wampus Cats' defensive struggles led directly to Bentonville's three-run bottom of the first.
"The ugly part was the crooked number under the errors," Boucher said. "It's been raining and we haven't been able to do much, which is really nice because we'll go home and it'll be a good proving point on why we take so many ground balls.
"It's early still. We'll be fine. They'll be fine. To Jordan's credit, he just did his deal. We had a couple other young arms come in and throw well."
Wicks pitched four innings to get the win, allowing four hits and three runs (none earned). He struck out five and did not walk a man, but did hit one.
Conway's five-run third inning proved to be the difference turning a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 lead. McCall Dail's two-out, two-run single into the right-center field gap gave the Wampus Cats the three-run lead.
Dail and Jack Stroth chipped in two hits and two RBIs as Conway managed eight hits..
Bentonville coach Todd Abbott said Wicks' poise showed.
"It's unfortunate, we put up a crooked number like that and many times one inning like that can be the difference," Abbott said. "But you can't go out and give up one that's bigger than that. Their pitchers did a good job, pitched to both sides of the plate, sawed us off a few times. We're gonna have to do a better job than that.
"Their first guy, we've seen him about five times. He's pitched since he's a freshman. That three spot and the errors, he responded and kept his team in the game."
Jacob Williams led Bentonville (0-2) with two hits and an RBI.
Springdale Har-Ber 3, Conway 1
Sophomore Blake Adams and junior Jack Lisle combined to shut down the Wampus Cats in the Wildcats' season-opener.
Adams threw five hitless innings, struck out five, did not walk a man, but did hit two batters. He also contributed an RBI single.
Lisle pitched the final two innings, allowing a run on two hits, but worked out of trouble. He got a flyout to end the sixth with runners at second and third, then ended the game with a strikeout with runners at the corners.
Blaze Brothers and Caleb Kimbel added sacrifice flies as Har-Ber built a 3-0 lead.
Sports on 03/09/2017