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The Benton Panthers defeated Monticello 12-2 in a non-conference game Monday at home. Benton, who has already secured the two seed in the 6A State Tournament, scored three runs in the first inning, five in the second, three in the third and one in the fourth.
Monticello scored a run in the first and fifth innings.
Following back-to-back singles by Greg Pryor and Garrison Roy to lead off the bottom of the second, Levon Steward hit a three-run home run. Two outs later, Joseph Henry singled, and Stuart Levy hit a two-run home run to give the Panthers a 8-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Carson Holloway led off by reaching on a hit by pitch. He moved to second on a ground out by Matthew Krikorian.
An error allowed Pryor to reach first and for Holloway to move to third. Holloway later scored on a RBI ground out by Taylor Schmidt. The run gave the Panthers an 11-run lead, which was more than enough for the â€śmercy ruleâ€ť to go into effect.
In the bottom of the first, Krikorian hit a two-run double to score Henry and Holloway, who reached on an error and a fielderâ€™s choice, respectively. Ashton Roberts, who hit a one-out double, scored earlier in the inning as well.
Holloway pitched four innings, allowing just one run (earned) on three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Schmidt pitched the final inning, allowing a run (earned) on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts.
Roberts finished the game 2-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Henry had a hit, a walk and scored twice. Levy was 1-2 with two RBIs, a walk and a run scored.
Krikorian, Pryor and Roy all had a hit and scored a run. Steward was 1-2 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
The Benton Panthers will play at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the second round of the 6A State Tournament at Marion High School. They will play the winner of the third seed from the East and the sixth seed from the South.