BENTONVILLE (KFSM) - The race for a 7A baseball title begins Thursday in Bentonville but the push to the postseason heated up a couple weeks back.
"The top four or five teams competed and it went down to the last week of the season, and that shows you it's a very competitive race," said Har-Ber coach Ron Bradley. "Every game we play in our conference is like a state playoff experience."
Har-Ber lead the the West for much of the year but was passed by Fayetteville and Bentonville and finished third.
"We've been exposed to all these good quality teams all year, so going into the state tournament it's not gonna be much different," Wildcat senior Caleb Kimbel said.
Fayetteville ended with an 11-3 record and a bye to the quarterfinals. The Purple Dogs have won five of six games entering postseason play.
"That's really what we talk about every day. It's not time to stagnate, it's time to keep getting better and better," head coach Scott Gallagher said.
And while the old adage points to pitching as the aspect of the game that wins championships, Bradley doesn't believe that will be the case this weekend. "I think those teams that come up with timely hits during the state tournament is really gonna make the difference."
Dating back to 2010, the 7A-Central has won five of the past seven titles. Bryant has captured four of those state championships. The full 7A state tournament schedule and bracket can be seen here.