(Chris Pobst, Staff)
"He was hitting his spots," Carter said. "He was bringing it in better than usual today. He just looked comfortable up there on the mound.
"He's always good but, today, he was just spectacular."
Bennett's arm might have felt better or it could have been the warm weather. Or it just might have been the team on the opposite side.
"Yeah," Bennett admitted. "I wanted to win this one."
Bennett and the rest of the Risco Tigers extracted a small amount of redemption against the Scott County Central Braves on Tuesday afternoon from the 100-53 rout they took against the Braves in the quarterfinal round of the basketball postseason by defeating SCC on the diamond 4-1.
"Not quite the same group of kids, but still," Risco head coach Brandon Blankenship said. "We wanted this one today for sure."
Bennett, a member of both the baseball and basketball team, made sure Risco got at least one win over Scott Central his senior year. He could tell early in the first inning that his repertoire of pitches was spot on. Especially his curveball.
"I noticed in the first (inning) that it was going to break really good for me," Bennett said about his bender. "I tried to work in my fastball with my curve and try to get them off balance."
A number of times, Bennett and Carter, who call their own pitches, worked at a brisk pace to mow down the Braves at the plate. Off balanced and late swings filled the Scott Central lineup as Bennett cruised through seven innings.
Four times Bennett retired the side in 1-2-3 fashion.
"The first time through the lineup I noticed a few guys couldn't handle the curveball," said Carter. "We usually started them off with a few curveballs and try to blow the fastball by them with two strikes.
"We just tried to throw them off."
He allowed only two hits and one walk while sitting down eight by way of strikeout. The sixth inning brought upon Scott Central's one run after an error and a fielder's choice play allowed Blake Pobst to tag Bennett with the run.
"He's our ace," Blankenship said about Bennett. "He looked a little sharper today. He looked like he had a little more velocity. The curveball had a little bit better bite today too.
"He was just on his game today, for sure."
The Tiger offense was productive when it needed to be. A few timely hits made up for over half of Risco's four runs in the fifth inning when they got to SCC starter Ben Freed for three runs.
A two-out hit by Mikey Pipkins to right-center field scored both Caleb McCord and Justin Earnheart to give the Tigers their commanding 3-run lead.
"Mikey Pipkins came up big for us with his two RBIs," Bennett said.
They scored their first in the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back hits from Chris Pavy and Bennett to open the frame. Carter reached on an error that scored Pavy from third.
"We got a few big hits with runners on base," Carter said. "They were just timely hits."
Except for the three hits and three runs in the fifth inning, Freed went pitch-for-pitch with Bennett.
A few times throughout, Freed would work out of jams that a few defensive errors put him in to. In all of his six innings, Freed would have to deal with at least one runner on base. Three of those instances was because of errors in the field.
"Again, Ben Freed throws his heart out and has nothing to show for it at the end," said Limbaugh. "We've got to make the plays behind him. You have to have your pitcher's back.
"Even after the errors, Ben sucked it up and made a bunch of plays himself," Limbaugh added. "Whether it was a strikeout or a ground ball back to him. He did a lot of it himself.
"With nine players out there, you cannot just have one guy out there doing it all."
Freed finished up five innings giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits and one walk. Nathan Holland came in the sixth inning to finish up giving up one hit.
Pavy and Carter led the Tigers with two hits apiece. Bennett had the only extra-base hit of the game with a double in the first inning.
Trey Johnson and Blake Pobst had the only two hits for the Braves.
Risco (13-6) will be off until next week while the Braves (7-6) get right back to action today at Bloomfield.
SCC 000 001 0 -- 1
Risco 100 030 x -- 4
WP -- Brandon Bennett. LP -- Ben Freed. Multiple hitters -- (R) Chris Pavy 2-4, Ross Carter 2-4. 2B -- (R) Bennett.