Benton advances to state title game

May 29—OZARK, Mo. — Benton High School advanced to the Class 4A state baseball championship game by defeating MICDS, 4-1, Wednesday at the Ozark Mountain Sports Complex.

The connectivity and cohesiveness defensively was as high as it had been all season for Benton with junior Chris Coy on the mound as the starting pitcher on the biggest stage of the year to date.

Coy would give up just one run while retiring the side in four of the first six innings. With the Rams attacking the baseball early on the count, he was able to keep his pitch count low and able to pitch a complete game in route to the Cardinals' victory.

"I noticed they swung a lot first pitch, so I was kind of taking advantage of it," Chris Coy said. "I didn't have a lot of strikeouts in the stat book, but I'm totally fine with that if I throw 70 pitches."

The Cardinals struck early on the scoreboard, scoring a run in the first inning before going scoreless in innings two through five. In the sixth, a face many hadn't seen play in recent days had the biggest at-bat of the game. As the last batter in the order, senior Garret Ferrell, who didn't play at all in the team's quarterfinal win over St. Michael the Archangel, scored a two-RBI double in the top of the sixth inning to give Benton its largest lead of the game at 4-0.

"I just come in, I'm gonna take the opportunities that I get and I'm gonna try to excel in the opportunities that I have," Ferrell said.

The Cardinals improve their record to 32-3. Benton will square off against the winner of the other semifinal, Blair Oaks, who defeated Lutheran St. Charles, 4-2, Thursday at 1 p.m.

"We got one goal and one goal only, and that's to win a state championship and that's going to be our focus," Benton head coach Johnny Coy said. "We're happy we won, sure, but jobs not done and the guys know that. They have their minds set they're going to do whatever they can to win tomorrow as well."