The San Benito baseball team pulled into a first-place tie with Palma after beating the Chieftains 4-1 Thursday.
The Balers took a first-inning lead on a solo home run by Jacob Tonascia. The Balers added two more runs in the third inning off an RBI double by Tonascia and a sacrifice fly from Craig Slibsager.
Tonascia finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
San Benito starter Anthony Ocampo struck out six batter in seven inning. Ocampo allowed six hits and only one run.
“He was great,” manager Billy Aviles said. “He was pounding the zone and pitching great.”
San Benito travels to Salinas to face Palma at 4 p.m. Friday.
In his second game back from injury, San Benito’s Robert Henderson led the Balers to a three-game sweep of Pajaro Valley on Thursday.
San Benito never trailed during the win — beating the Grizzlies 25-12, 25-18, 25-14.
“We played really well,” head coach Emily Tonascia said.
Henderson — along with Isaiah Acfalle — led the San Benito attack, she said.
“He was really good,” Tonascia said. “He was really smart with his hits. He was really important.”
The Balers will compete in Saturday’s Watsonville Wildcat Tournament.
For the second time this year, the Balers dominated Monte Vista Christian, winning 6-1 Thursday at Ridgemark.
San Benito shuffled its lineup — sending No. 1 singles player Kyle Skinner to doubles — to give younger players an opportunity to play higher seeds, head coach Chris Yoder said. Despite the change, the Balers didn’t miss a beat.
Andrew Panger (7-5, 6-0) and Nick Trillo (7-5, 6-0) won their singles matches in straight sets. No. 4 singles player Alex Reilly won in a deciding third set (2-6, 6-1, 11-9).
Doubles partners Sunny Singh and Jacob Panger won 6-3, 6-2. And Skinner — with partner Simon Coehlo — won 6-0, 6-1.
Eric Johnson and Aaron Francis won the final match for San Benito 6-1, 6-0.
The Balers host Palma at 4 p.m. Tuesday.