Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SPORTS >> Panthers, Bears play Thursday

Leader sports editor

While most baseball, softball and soccer teams took the week off from competition, Cabot, Jacksonville and Sylvan Hills baseball teams get back to action mid-week in a pair of large baseball tournaments.

Cabot and Sylvan Hills are taking part in the three-site Central Arkansas Invitational hosted by Catholic High, while Jacksonville plays in the Xtra Innings Classic split between Jonesboro and Nettleton High School.

The Panthers and Bears are getting back to action after suffering close losses in their most recent games. Each team has struggled at the plate at times this season. Sylvan Hills is coming off a 3-1 loss at Searcy on Friday while Cabot enters the tournament on a two-game losing streak that opened conference play.

Sylvan Hills has the tougher draw, facing Fayetteville High School in the first round at Little Rock Christian Academy, while Cabot takes on Vilonia at Benton High School.

Vilonia is no easy out. The Eagles took third in the Red Devil Classic earlier this month and are currently 2-0 in the tough 5A West Conference.

Other first-round games include Catholic taking on Hot Springs Lakeside at Lamar Porter Field in Little Rock. Also at Lamar Porter Field, Lake Hamilton will face Alma, Searcy will take on Kickapoo, Mo., and Springdale Har-Ber will face Arkadelphia.

Benton will face Central Arkansas Christian on its home field with the winner facing the Cabot-Vilonia winner. At Little Rock Christian Academy, Russellville faces LRCA with the winner of that game taking on either Sylvan Hills or Fayetteville.

Second-round games are also scheduled to be played on Thursday with the tournament concluding on Friday and Saturday.

In Saturday’s final games, all consolation-bracket games will be played at Benton, while all winners’ bracket games will be played at Lamar Porter Field.