PBR AR State Championship Weekend Preview



We take a look at each state championship game with 1A and 6A crowning new champions while every other conference has a chance for a repeat champion.

6A

6A Title bout will crown a new champion. Bentonville comes in as the hottest team in the tournament and Conway is as solid as you can get in all facets. Each team has left handed arms galore so look for this one to be a close game with whoever blinks being the team on the wrong side of the outcome.

BENTONVILLE

Road to Benton: Defeated NLR Defeated Catholic, Defeated Har-Ber.

Outlook: Hot is an understatement. Zac Sohosky, 2022, LHP, Rhodes College on the mound presents a tough matchup for Conway as he has been solid all season long. The Bentonville offense has found a way to put up big runs and being down to their last out show no signs of giving in at any point. Lineup consisting of tough outs throughout Ethan Arnold, 2022, INF/RHP, Benedictine CollegeLuke Crumpler, 2022, INF, Rich Mountain CCStephon Gryskiewicz, 2023, DH, Arkansas StateKieper Pate, 2022, OF, San JacintoDrew Wright, 2022, INF, Labette CCTonie Woodie, 2023  . Bryce Parlin, 2022, RHP, Central Arkansas could be an arm at the end of the game to watch as this plans to be a pitchers dual at its finest.

CONWAY

Road to Benton: Defeated Southside, Defeated Heritage.

Outlook: Conway may be the most complete team in the tournament. They have a 3 headed monster on the mound with Austin Rainey, 2022, LHP, Rich Mountain, Hugh Hill, LHP, 2023Preston Prock, 2023, RHP/Util to go along with an offense that puts together at bat after at bat wearing the opposing pitcher down. Wampus Cats will have to be beat as they don't typically beat themselves. The cats lineup featuring Cole Glover, 2023, C Sam Gregg, MIF, 2023Conner Cunningham, 2024, INF, Logan French, 2022, OF, Tucker Satterfield, 2024, Prestyn Ribbing, 2024, 3B, Zachary Szuba, 2023, C

5A

New comer Marion looks to knock off defending state champ Van Buren. This matchup will feature some big time arms and have a lot to like. Prospects everywhere these two teams are well coached and will come down to the wire.

MARION

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Gage Watson, 2022, Missouri

Connor Taylor, 2023

Connor Brinkley, 2022, Southwest Tennessee CC

Dylan Kight, 2022, Rich Mountain CC

Matthew Kearney, 2024, 3B

Road to Benton: Defeated White Hall, Benton, and Sheridan

Outlook: Pitching has lead the way as Marion has yet to give up a run in the state tournament. Depth in the starting ranks behind Ben Gerrard, 2022Chase Armstrong, 2022,  Arkansas State.The only question Marion has is who to start on the mound. A loaded team that has been at the top all season, this matchup comes down to execution. The bats of Marion looks to knock off the reigning state champs and claim their first title.

VAN BUREN

Road to Benton: Defeated Maumelle, Jonesboro, Batesville

Outlook: Returning state champs look to make it a repeat as they are as balanced team offensively as on the mound. Devin Gattis, 2022, National Park and Connor Brady, 2022, RHP, Eastern Oklahoma State not only lead them on the mound but also at the plate. Malachi Henry, 2023 is the table setter Josh Nowotny, 2022, Presley Nichols, 2023, and Eli Gilreath, 2022, Missouri Southern had big state tournements for the returning state champs. Look for Van Buren to bring the energy as they know what it takes to win the big game after winning it all last season.

4A

VALLEY VIEW

Road to Benton: Defeated Farmington, Arkadelphia, Shiloh Christian

Outlook: After having to come from behind in game 1, Valley View breezed through the rest of the tournament arriving back in the title game looking to defend last years state championship. Valley View has been the best team in 4A all season and looks to finish of the run with back to back titles. With Slade Caldwell, 2024 Ole Miss, Lawson Ward, 2024, Tyler Hoskins, 2023, Eli Crecelius, 2023, and Drew Gartman, 2025, SS this team returns to the state title having known what it takes to be champions. 

HARRISON

Road to Benton: Defeated Start City, Pulaski Academy, and Huntsville

Outlook: Surprise to most outside of Harrison, the Golden Goblins have arrived after a close game with Pulaski Academy in the quarterfinals knocking off a would be favorite for the title and another would be title contender in Huntsville in a slug fest. Harrison can really hit with Sloan Barrett, 2022, SS, Arkansas Tech, Cylan Madden, 2022, OF, Grayson JC, and Dylan Block, 2022, St. Louis CC in the top of the lineup. Harrison is playing as well as anyone in the tournament. Don't look for Harrison to be overwhelmed by Valley View as Harrison will give them all they want in Benton. 

3A

Ashdown

Road to Benton: Defeated DeWitt, Elkins, Benton Harmony Grove.

Outlook: Ashdown has been in the mix the entire season and has the look of the one team that can give Harding Academy a run for its money. Ashdown is known for its baseball prowess and looks to pull off the would be upset in the title game.

Harding Academy

Road to Benton: Defeated Booneville, CAC, and Paris.

Outlook: Returning state champions led by the three headed monster Gavin Alveti, C, Connors State, Levi Lang, 2023 UALR, and Kade Smith, 2023, Arkansas along with Kyler Hoover, 2024, SS, Harding academy looks to do it again as the entire group has been here before. This team might be the deepest team as it has gone wire to wire winning 30 games and quite possibly being one of the greatest teams in Arkansas history. 

2A

bigelow

Road to Benton: Defeated Dierks, Rector, McCrory

Outlook: Could be a cinderella but not really. The Panthers have played well all post season and have strong core that is ready to try and knock off the returning state champions. Brothers Carter Alexander, 2024, and Hunter Alexander, 2022, Rich Mountain JC have been a strong hold for Bigelow this season and look to finish off their state tournament run family style.

Woodlawn

Road to Benton: Defeated St. Joseph, Riverside, Buffalo Island Central

Woodlawn is back in its familiar place having won 7 state titles and this group looks to make it back to back. Woodlawn somewhat breezed to the finals and will be on upset alert with Bigelow but experience plays especially in a winner take all format. Woodlawn is no stranger to the excitement of a one day tournament so look for them to come out swinging as run production has been a plenty down the stretch.

1A

taylor

Road to Benton: Defeated Sacred Heart, West Side, Mt. Ida.

Outlook: Taylor is back looking to win its 6th state championship. No stranger to this game the Tigers look to continue their dominance in baseball. Taylor had a big quarterfinal win over state title contender West side. Taylor then breezed through the semifinal game putting up big runs in their bid for the state title.

nemo vista

Road to Benton: Defeated Hermitage, Izard County, and Ouachita. 

Outlook: Having Posted a solid season, Nemo Vista looks to win its second state title and has a tall task in overcoming Taylor. Having won 8 straight games including beating Ouachita in the semifinal game who had previously beaten them twice Nemo Vista might be the hottest team in Benton. Look for this team to matchup well and could come down to a late inning execution to separate the champion.