Benton coach J.D. Stephens said his Tigers have had productive batting practices the past two weeks, he was just waiting for it to transfer consistently to the games.
At least on Tuesday, Stephens didn’t have to worry.
Benton piled up 13 hits and three home runs in a 18-0, five-inning win at North DeSoto.
“We’ve got the guys that can hit from last year, and we’ve got some guys that are starting to come out of it, and they just continue to work,” Stephens said. “We’ve had great (batting practices) the last two weeks, and it was only a matter of time before we starting applying it in games.”
“Tonight was a good night, we swung at it in the strike zone, competed with two strikes and put it in play.”
North DeSoto (11-13, 2-3 District 1-4A) used most of its available pitching in a 13-inning, four-and-a-half hour loss to Loyola on Saturday, and coach Bo Odom said he wants his team to quickly forget about Tuesday’s loss and move on to Fair Park on Thursday and Northwood on Saturday.
“This team is getting better, and obviously it didn’t show tonight,” Odom said. “But they are going to be pretty good one day.”
“We played a marathon game Saturday, and we used all of our pitchers. We threw some young guys out there, and they kind of got overwhelmed a little bit. It wasn’t fair that they had to pitch against a really good Benton team.”
Benton (15-8, 4-1) is tied with Minden (11-11, 4-1) atop District 1-4A, but the Tigers handed the Crimson Tide their only loss.
The Tigers started the scoring with three first-inning runs and scored one in the second before a Cameron Horton three-run home run was part of a six-run second inning to lead 9-0.
“It was huge for momentum,” Horton said. “We had been hitting good in (batting practice), and we finally just broke out.
“It felt great to do it here, and we just had fun.”
Already up 13-0, Jaret Gill hit the first grand slam of his high school career.
“We finally swinging at good pitches, more than anything,” said Gil, who had a team-high 5 RBIs. “It means a lot to hit my first one at this level.”
Horton (2-3), Gil (2-3), Taylor Ward (2-3) and Wade Grubbs (3-4) combined to score 10 of Benton’s runs.
North DeSoto pitching walked six batters and hit another five batters.
Jordan Shaffer pitched four scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out five.