Benton wins inaugural SIHSFL championship

Darren Kinnard

BENTON — After dropping their first game in the Southern Illinois High School Fall League, Benton rattled off 17 straight wins to take home the title, sweeping Harrisburg in the best of three championship series.

Benton won the opener Saturday 4-3, then clinched the championship with a 6-3 win Monday night. Benton scored three in the first and three in the sixth but couldn’t celebrate until Jon Tate fielded Harrisburg’s Ben Brombaugh grounder and beat him to the bag stranding the tying runs to end it.

After having their spring baseball season canceled and with football moved to the spring due to the pandemic, the SIHSFL filled a void for more than a hundred baseball players from across the region.

The league was made up of eight teams: Anna-Jonesboro, Benton (varsity and JV), Carbondale, Harrisburg, Nashville, Steeleville, and Williamson County. The teams had no official affiliation with the schools, although most were made up of rosters that will play for the school teams in the upcoming season.

Nashville took third place with a 5-1 win over Carbondale Saturday. A-J beat Benton (JV) 8-4 in the seventh place game. Steeleville will face Williamson County at 5:30 Tuesday in the fifth place game.