BENTONVILLE — Fayetteville starter Hank Gibbs struggled with his command Tuesday, but that was not a problem for teammate Seth Adams.
The junior came on in the first inning to limit damage and gave the Purple Bulldogs a chance to rally.
That’s exactly what they did, putting together a five-run second inning to earn a 6-3 win over Bentonville High at the Tiger Athletic Complex and retain a share of first place in the 6A-West.
Fayetteville coach Scott Gallagher said Adams came on in a tough spot after Gibbs walked three of the five batters he faced to begin the game. But the junior did his job.
“He came in and did a good job throwing strikes and he had multiple pitches going and kept them off-balance,” Gallagher said. “The thing that was big though was he really limited damage there. He gave up two, but you’re still in the game.
“It was big-time limiting them to two, and we came back and answered.”
Bentonville (13-6, 5-3) looked like it would have a big inning in the top of the first as four of the first batters reached base. But the Tigers settled for just two runs as Adams struck out Brooks McDowell with runners at second and third to end the inning.
Adams said he tried to keep his emotions in check coming into a bases-loaded, one-out situation and his team already trailing 1-0 in the first.
“There was a little more zip today on my fastball, and I was able to control my slider,” said Adams, who didn’t pitch at all in a varsity game until spring break.
“What I was first thinking was, ‘Don’t show any emotion because you don’t want to let them think you’re scared,’” Adams said. “You keep a straight face and do your job and throw strikes.”
Adams tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, striking out two and walking one. He threw 32 of 46 pitches for strikes.
Fayetteville (12-7, 6-2 6A-West) turned the tables in the second inning with five runs, but four of them came after a huge two-out fielding error by Bentonville.
The Purple’Dogs took advantage with three consecutive hits after the error. Andrew Walker gave Fayetteville a 3-2 lead with a run-scoring infield single, and Jackson Down followed with a two-run single up the middle to push the lead to 5-2.
The Tigers scored an unearned run in the seventh and had the tying run at the plate, but Fayetteville reliever Matthew Magre got the strikeout to end the game.
Fayetteville.....................050 000 1 — 6 8 2 Bentonville.....................200 000 1 — 3 7 1
Gibbs, Adams (1), Magre (6) and Turner; Hook, P. Allen (3), Bennett (7) and Golden. W-Adams. L-Hook. HRs- None.
BENTONVILLE WEST 3, SPRINGDALE HAR-BER 1
John McElroy’s bases-loaded walk provided the go-ahead run as West completed a series sweep of Har-Ber with a win at the Wolverine Athletic Complex and stayed tied with Fayetteville for first place in the league standings.
The third-inning walk forced in Joey Aden, who led off with a walk. West (12-7, 6-2), which had only two hits in the game, added a solo run in the fourth as Landon Grigg walked and scored when Maddox Thornton reached on an error.
Thornton pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed just five hits as he picked up the win, while Hunter Mayes recorded the save.
Har-Ber (14-5, 4-4) took a 1-0 lead in the first on Kirby Jenkins’ sacrifice fly, but West countered with Thornton’s RBI single.
ROGERS HIGH 3, SPRINGDALE HIGH 1
Hayden Seldomridge threw out a runner trying to steal to end the game with the tying run on base to help the Mounties hold on for the 6A-West Conference win.
Springdale put two runners on with one out thanks to a walk and a single by Christopher Harvey against Rogers starter Matthew Watson. But Jay Watson came on and got Will Mueller to line out and then Seldomridge cut down Dylan Rollins trying to steal third to end the game. Rogers (10-7, 5-3) broke a scoreless tie in the fifth thanks to an RBI-single by McKaden Templeton and a run-scoring double by Jay Watson for a 2-0 lead. The Mounties pushed their lead to 3-1 in the sixth when Sal Jacobo scored on Tim Howard’s double-play grounder. Matthew Watson picked up the win, allowing a run over 6 1/3 innings. He scattered seven hits, striking out six and walking four.
Mueller and Rollins had two hits each for the Red’Dogs. Rollins took the loss, allowing two runs on four hits over 4 2/3 innings.
VAN BUREN 16, ROGERS HERITAGE 5 (5 INNINGS)
The Pointers rallied from an early deficit to pick up the big 6A-West Conference win.
Van Buren trailed 5-4 after two innings but responded with 12 runs over the next three innings.
Dakota Peters went 4-for-4, while Mason Patrick drove in three runs to help the Pointers cruise to the big win. Connor Johnson earned the complete-game win. He bounced back from a four-run second to finish strong, allowing six hits while striking out five and walking two.
FORT SMITH NORTHSIDE 6, FORT SMITH SOUTHSIDE 5 (8 INNINGS)
William Sanders hit a two-out, run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Grizzlies to the win over the cross-town rival Mavericks.
Southside tied the game on Lucas Wood’s RBI-single in the top of the seventh to send the game into extra innings.
Derrick Wise went 3-for-4 for Northside, while Sanders added two hits and two RBIs. Donte O’Neal picked up the win in relief, allowing one unearned run over 4 1/3 innings.
Paul Boyd can be reached at pboyd@ nwadg.com or on Twitter @NWAPaulb.
Print Headline: Big inning carries Fayetteville past Bentonville