PREP BASEBALL: Bentonville needs 12 innings to slip past Springdale Har-Ber
Mar 15, 2022
by Henry Apple |Today at 7:00 a.m.
SPRINGDALE -- The 6A-West Conference opener at Arvest Ballpark had already surpassed the 4-hour mark when Luke Crumpler decided the game had lasted long enough Monday night. Bentonville's leadoff hitter came up with the clutch 12th-inning hit and allowed Kieper Pate to come home with the tie-breaking run as the Tigers took a 3-2 victory over previously unbeaten Springdale Har-Ber. "What a good baseball game," Bentonville coach Todd Abbott said. "Both teams had chances. Both teams battled, and I'm real proud of our guys. Crump came through and not only knocked that go-ahead run in, but he was able to get to third base on that play. That was good." Kieper Pate drew a walk to lead off the 12th when Abbott made a gutsy call and told Pate to steal second after Bentonville (5-1, 1-0) had lost six baserunners in various ways during the first 11 innings. Pate succeeded and set the stage for Crumpler, who picked up the Tigers' first hit since an infield single in the seventh inning when he grounded the ball in the hole between first and second and into right field. Crumpler then headed for second on the throw to the plate, and he was able to take third when the ball hit the backstop. That allowed Carter Nye to hit a sacrifice fly to left and drive in Crumpler for a 3-1 Tiger lead. "I knew my job was to just get him over and keep hitting that ball back," Crumpler said. "I was just passing the torch. I was trying to put the ball in play and it got through. "(Tyler) Ridley is a real good pitcher and he was going to work away. So I was trying to get on and hit a mistake, really. It was just a fastball away, and I just stayed with it. I watched it go into right field as I ran to first." The extra run loomed large as Har-Ber (6-1, 1-0) made things interesting in the bottom of the 12th. Clark Jenkins led off with a single and came in to score when Caden Ross belted a one-out double into left-center field. But Ethan Arnold, the third Bentonville pitcher, put an end to the Wildcats' threat when he struck out the next two batters to end the game. Har-Ber's only other run came in the first as Ross Felder walked and eventually scored on Jenkins' two-out single to right field. That lasted until the fourth when Rowan Christensen's two-out hit drove in Drew Wright, who had earlier reached on a fielder's choice and a throwing error. Arnold followed starter Bryce Parlin and reliever Tony Woodie to the mound and threw four innings of relief. Ridley, the third Har-Ber pitcher, entered the game in the 12th after Cooper Dossett and Austin Jones had thrown and took the loss. The two teams will head to Bentonville for a rematch this afternoon. Print Headline: Bentonville needs 12 to slip by Har-Ber