ROGERS -- Rogers High put together a big inning early and that was more than enough for Matthew Watson against Bentonville High on Tuesday afternoon.
The 6-foot-4 right-hander tossed a four-hitter and struck out 10 to lead the Mounties to an 8-0 win at Veterans Park.
Rogers coach Matt Melson said Watson has been more efficient this season, and that showed up against Bentonville. The junior threw 99 pitches and 59 for strikes against the Tigers. He walked only three, and that included the first batter of the game.
"He's just getting ahead early in the count and concentrating on strike one," Melson said. "This time last year we couldn't get him through the fifth inning, and now he's throwing complete games with 20 pitches to spare. He's just attacking guys."
Watson said he's tried to pitch more to contact this season and he's not just throwing with his arm.
"I've been trying to use a lot more legs, my whole body instead of just my arm," Watson said. "I was kinda throwing all arm last year."
Rogers (12-7, 7-3 6A-West) took control in the bottom of the second, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six times against Bentonville starter Hunter Hook. The Mounties combined five singles with three walks in the big inning.
Marc Sussman had a two-run single, while Jay Watson and Tanner Strickland added RBI-singles. McKaden Templeton was also hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in a run.
Melson liked his team's approach in that inning.
"We were able to get deep in some counts and I thought we had some disciplined at-bats," Melson said. "We were able to stay within ourselves and get some big hits. Nobody tried to do too much. It was more of a pass the baton mentality that we've been preaching a little bit lately."
Strickland led the way, going 3-for-4 and driving in two runs. Jay Watson and Tim Howard chipped in two hits each. Howard also scored twice.
Rogers right fielder Ben George also threw out two Bentonville runners on the base paths. He decoyed a base runner between first and second in the third inning, let the ball drop in front of him and easily threw the runner out at second. George also ended the top of the fourth by throwing out a runner at the plate.
Bentonville (13-8, 5-5 6A-West) has now lost five straight and is tied for fourth with Springdale Har-Ber. Payton Summers went 2-for-3 to lead the Tigers.
Hook, K. Allen (2), Abbott (6) and Golden; M. Watson and Lawing, Seldomridge (3). W-Watson. L-Hook. HRs-None.
Bentonville West 10, Rogers Heritage 3
Dylan Carter had a two-run home run as West completed a series sweep of Heritage at the Wolverine Athletic Complex.
The win, coupled with Springdale High's win over Fayetteville, gives the Wolverines (15-7, 8-2) a two-game lead in the 6A-West Conference standings with four games remaining.
West already owned a 4-1 lead when Carter belted his shot over the left-field fence. Zach Trammell also had two RBIs for the Wolverines, who coupled seven hits with four walks and four Heritage errors.
Maddox Thornton and Hunter Mayes combined on a four-hitter, while Josh Llewellyn had two of those hits and an RBI for Heritage (6-14, 2-8).
Springdale High 9, Fayetteville 5
The Red'Dogs jumped on top in the first inning for the second straight day against Fayetteville and went on to claim the 6A-West Conference win.
Springdale (9-14, 3-7) scored four runs in the top of the first inning and held off a late Fayetteville charge.
Will Mueller went 3-for-4 with a double, drove in two runs and scored twice to pace the Red'Dog offense. Nick West added two hits and Alex Bowers also drove in two runs.
Dylan Rollins picked up the win, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked four.
Jackson Down and Josh Hart had two hits each for Fayetteville (12-9, 6-4).
Van Buren 3, Springdale Har-Ber 1
Landry Wilkerson dominated the Har-Ber hitters, allowing just two hits in a complete-game win Tuesday in 6A-West action.
Wilkerson struck out nine and walked two in a 105-pitch masterpiece. He was also 1-for-3 with a stolen base as a hitter.
Van Buren (12-9, 4-6 6A-West) trailed 1-0 in the fourth inning when it struck for a pair of runs off Har-Ber (15-6, 5-5) starter Landon McAllister. Dakota Peters cracked a lead-off double and scored on an RBI double by Seth Humphrey. Hayden Roark's RBI single plated Humphrey. The Pointers added an insurance run in the sixth when Humphrey walked and scored on a wild pitch. Humphrey was 2-for-2 on the day.
Clay Burtrum and Kirby Jenkins had Har-Ber's only hits.
Sports on 04/17/2019
Print Headline: PREP BASEBALL Watson leads Rogers to 8-0 win over Bentonville