Bentonville High 2017 Season Preview

COACH Todd Abbott (13th season — 214-138 overall; 107-63 conference)

NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER Bentonville's Kam'ron Mays-Hunt tries to get a handle on the ball as Fort Smith Southside's Spencer Plunkett slides into second base Monday April 4, 2016. Bentonville lost 5-1.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER Bentonville’s Kam’ron Mays-Hunt tries to get a handle on the ball as Fort Smith Southside’s Spencer Plunkett slides into second base Monday April 4, 2016. Bentonville lost 5-1.

LAST YEAR’S RECORD 19-9; 11-3 7A-West (conference champion; state quarterfinals)

KEY PLAYERS 2B/SS Justin Hines (Sr.); P Jacob Williams (Sr.); 1B/P Tyler Johnson (Jr); 3B/P Nathan Lyons (Jr.); SS/OF Kam’Ron Mays-Hunt (Jr.)

TOP NEWCOMERS OF Destyn Adkins (Sr.); C Kyle Knight (Sr.)

THE SKINNY Bentonville’s strength entering the 2017 season has to be its experienced infield. Lyons, Johnson, Hines and Mays-Hunt all started last season, although Abbott has experimented with Mays-Hunt in right field. If that’s the case, Hines would move over to short and Cade Lastovica — who saw some time at second last spring — assumes that position. … Williams, who mainly made relief pitching appearances last spring, will be utilized in a starting role this year. … Abbott said the pitching will be done by committee until further notice as the Tigers lack the powerful rotation he enjoyed last season. … Kyle Knight assumes the catching duties now that Matt Bratpries has graduated. … Hines has already signed a letter of intent with Metropolitan Community College-Longview after hitting .318 last year with nine runs batted in and 16 runs scored. … Williams, along with teammate Bryce Davis, has signed with Oklahoma Wesleyan after had a 1.40 ERA with five runs allowed in 25 innings worked. … Lyons had a pair of game-winning RBI singles in games last season. … Bentonville will be the host of the Class 7A state tournament this year.

IMPORTANT DATES March 6 — season opener vs. Cabot at the University of the Ozarks, Clarksville. … March 8 — First home game vs. Conway in the Best Sports Classic … March 13 — 7A-West Conference opener at home vs. Fayetteville. … May 1-2 — First games against Bentonville West.

Henry Apple

Henry Apple

Henry Apple is a veteran sports reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His primary beat is Bentonville, as well as Gravette and topics that include state schools and the Arkansas Activities Association. During the spring, he handles high school track in Northwest Arkansas. He is a lifelong Arkansas resident.
Henry Apple

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