GRAVETTE (KFSM)--After games were postponed by rain on Wednesday, the 4A-1 baseball tournament is set to begin Thursday afternoon and continue through Friday night. In football and basketball, the conference was competitive top to bottom, and baseball looks to be no different headed into the postseason.
"4A's been tough. We have to come out and we have to just play to the best we can," Shiloh Christian center fielder Amos Yarbrough said.
"Our top three, four teams in our conference I think would match up with anyone across the state. And not just Pea Ridge, but other guys in the conference gain confidence from that," Blackhawks coach John King said. The top four teams in the conference - Shiloh Christian, Prairie Grove, Pea Ridge and Huntsville - have combined for a 72-22 record and averaged 18 wins.
"It's one of the toughest around. We gotta chip and fight to win most games around here," said Pea Ridge senior Westin Church.
"I don't think it will be easy. We'll have to play our best to win. And we'll just have to stay focused the whole time. Last year we were a really young team. So this year I think we'll be a lot more experienced and a lot more mature," Jake Nelson, a junior outfielder for the Saints said.
But Shiloh Christian is the most experienced team of the bunch. Last spring, the Saints won the 4A state championship, after losing in the semifinals to Arkadelphia in 2015.
"You don't really know how to do it until you've done it before. That's tournament play anytime, you know, you always have a chance no matter what you're doing in the regular season," Saints coach Moe Henry said. "It also adds a little bit of pressure on it too because now you're almost expected to go and compete and execute in those situations."
"It puts a lot of pressure on us. And it makes us want to play to the best that we can, every game," Yarbrough added.
Here is the schedule of games, all played at Gravette High School over the next two days. With one win, team's advance to the 4A North regional tournament.
Thursday, April 27 (Quarterfinals)
12:00 PM - (7) Gravette 5, (2) Prarie Grove 4
2:30 PM - (1) Shiloh Christian 7, (8) Lincoln 1
5:00 PM - (4) Huntsville 14, (5) Berryville 1
7:30 PM - (3) Pea Ridge 18, (6) Gentry 1
Friday, April 28 (Semifinals)
12:00 PM - (1) Shiloh Christian 9, (4) Huntsville 1
2:30 PM - (3) Pea Ridge 8, (7) Gravette 0
Friday, April 28 (Championship)
7:30 PM - Pea Ridge 10, Shiloh Christian 2