TOMBSTONE — Fifth-ranked Benson knocked off No. 1-ranked and previously unbeaten Tombstone 6-1 in a key 2A South baseball game Wednesday, snapping the Yellow Jackets’ eight-game winning streak.

The Benson win avenged a 3-2 loss to Tombstone last week in Benson.

The Bobcats came out swinging, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning on an Angel Rigney bases-clearing single.

Benson tacked on another run in the second when Antonio Rigney scored on Mason Fletcher’s single, making the score 4-0.

Tombstone scored its lone run in the bottom of the third when Joel Esparza homered to left field.

Benson scored runs in the fourth and seventh innings for a 6-1 lead.

Brok Determen was the winning pitcher for Benson, going the distance while giving up one run and three hits while striking out nine and walking two.

The Bobcats had nine hits. Fletcher was 3-for-4, scored two runs and had an RBI. Senior Grayson Judd was 2-for-3 with an RBI and sophomore Angel Rigney 1-for-3 with three RBIs.

Determan and Antonio Rigney each had one hit for the Bobcats.

For Tombstone, Cash Finnell started the game on the mound and lasted four innings, giving up five runs and seven hits while striking out three and walking three. Esparza threw three innings in relief and gave up one run and two hits, fanning five and walking three.

The Yellow Jackets had three hits. Joel Esparza and Ezekial Esparza each were 1-for-3. Brandon Redenbo was 1-for-2.

“Benson is a very good team, well coached and were more prepared to play us than we were to play them,” Tombstone coach James Milligan said. “That’s on me! We have got to find a way to be better offensively against better teams. If there is such a thing as a good loss, this was one. We lost to a very good team, they were better than us today.”

Benson coach Fred Trujillo said the difference his team made this time compared to the previous meeting was that his players adjusted its hitting approach.

“I felt we made some mistakes that first game that cost us some runs,” he said. “They’re a good team and it’s been said ‘you can’t make mistakes against a good team and expect to win because they will capitalize on them and beat you.’

The coach also praised Determen, saying he was pretty much in control of his pitches with the exception of one pitch that went for a home run.

“I felt our kids played well and deserved the win,” he said. “We beat a very good Tombstone team.”

Despite the loss, as of Thursday, Tombstone, 8-1 overall, 6-1 in both conference and region, had a half-game lead over Benson, 5-1 overall, in conference and in region, with seven game remaining for Tombstone and eight for Benson

Benson was at St. David on Thursday and will be at Empire on Friday. Tombstone will be at San Miguel Friday for a region game. Results from those games will be in the April 21 issue of the Herald/Review.

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