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SYLVAN HILLS BASEBALL | Bears pick up ‘good’ wins

Sylvan Hills head coach Denny Tipton has his players moving in the right direction as the state tournament looms in the near future.

It’s conference title or bust.

The Bears notched big wins over Benton, a 4-2 victory followed by blowout wins against Searcy and Shiloh Christian.

Head coach Denny Tipton said the Benton win qualified as a “good win” especially when they wrap it around a 13-1 win over Shiloh Christian and a 12-2 victory over Searcy.

“We are playing real well right now,” Tipton said.

The only recent blemish is a 3-1 loss to Little Rock Catholic.

Even though the overall win/loss record doesn’t scream dominance, the Bears have but one loss in eight 5A-Central games.

“We play good competition,” Tipton said. “We are getting ready to compete in state tournament.”

Tipton said pitching and defense has become strength for his club. The Bears have been relying on starters J.D. Miller, Hunter Heslip, and Connor Poteet.

Tipton also has a reliable pitcher coming out of the bullpen.

“Marcus Long has pitched well for us, too,” Tipton said. “He’s done a great job coming out of the pen.”

The Bears have a tough test coming up this week with Pulaski Academy.

“They are a really good team,” Tipton said. “I think they are supposed to have three D-1 guys on their team, so it’s going to be a tough test for us.”

The Bruins are tied for second place in the conference with Little Rock Christian just behind the Bears. A sweep will be very important for the Bears.

“If we can get both games,” Tipton said, “it will put us in the drivers’ seat for a conference title.”

The Bears are hitting well and have reaped results with double-digit run production. Even in losing to Catholic, the Bears hit well.

“We hit it right at them,” Tipton said. “I think we hit into three line drive double plays.”

Sylvan Hills will have to make up a rainout against McClellan, but if things progress for Tipton’s club, look for a conference title and a top seed to be in the very near future.

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