The Neosho Wildcats are — weather permitting — slated to open the 2017 high school baseball season at 4:30 p.m. Friday against Bentonville West at Roy B. Shaver Stadium.

The Neosho Wildcats are — weather permitting — slated to open the 2017 high school baseball season at 4:30 p.m. Friday against Bentonville West at Roy B. Shaver Stadium.
The veteran Wildcats, under second year head coach Danny Powers, outscored their opponents Seneca and Nevada 19-3 in their jamboree last Friday and Neosho’s pitchers walked only three in eight innings of work.
Neosho even practiced in the light snow that fell on Tuesday, with a video captioned on Twitter “Snow can’t get in the way of practice!”
It is the inaugural season for the Bentonville West baseball program, Class 7A in Arkansas and coached by former Crowder head coach Chip Durham.
Durham coached Crowder to a record of 94-84 over three seasons, leaving the school to become the head coach at NCAA Division I Nicholls State (Louisiana). Durham resigned at Nicholls State after the 2010 season, a season that saw the school make its first postseason appearance in 10 years and win its first postseason game in 12 years.
The Wolverines are currently on a three-game losing streak, losses against Conway (5-2) and Van Buren (2-1, 2-1) after three straight wins to open the season against Siloam Springs (6-5), Gravette (12-0) and Harrison (14-4).
· The East Newton Patriots and the Diamond Wildcats are slated to open their seasons Friday in the Tiger Classic in Lamar.
Friday’s games are Butler and Lamar JV at 10:30 a.m., East Newton and Liberal at noon, Diamond and Lockwood at 3 p.m., and Lamar and Greenfield at 5:30 p.m.
Games will then be spread out over Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday — consolation bracket Saturday and Tuesday, championship bracket Monday and Wednesday.
Games that go in extra innings will be determined by the always fun international tie breaker, as the last batter of the previous inning starts at second base.
Home team will be determined by coin flip for all games, including Lamar.
A note was sent out to coaches and athletic directors when the brackets were released, “Spring sports season is quickly approaching. … The one variable that we have no control over is the weather. And as we all know Spring Break is not really meant for spring sports, just like Christmas Break is not meant for winter sports. We want to start as early as possible to avoid possibly losing any games.”
March 17 is the earliest date allowed by MSHAA to play games.
· The McDonald County Mustangs are scheduled to open their season Friday and Saturday in the Ozark Classic in Harrison, Arkansas.
Teams who played in the event last year — along with McDonald County and Harrison — are Belton, Grove (Oklahoma), Pleasant Hill, Paragould (Arkansas), West Plains and Morrilton (Arkansas).
· The Seneca Indians open their baseball season Saturday in the Wyandotte (Oklahoma) Baseball Festival with games against Wyandotte and Welch.
Seneca plays Wyandotte at 11 a.m., followed by Welch at approximately 1 p.m.
Fairland plays Welch at 3 p.m. and Wyandotte closes out the four games against Fairland at 5 p.m.
Admission fees are $5 for adults and $3 for students.
· The Diamond Lady Wildcats are slated to play Southwest on Friday, a road game at 4:30 p.m.
· Other spring sports open next week.
Neosho boys tennis opens on the road Thursday at Nixa, the first of four road duals this season for the Wildcats with Parkview, Monett and Webb City afterward. Neosho opens at home April 3 against Carl Junction.
Neosho girls soccer hosts Hillcrest at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Lions Field in a varsity-only contest. Two days later, Neosho hosts Parkview at 5 p.m., starting the season with a pair of Springfield-area schools at Lions Field.
Neosho boys golf opens at home Tuesday against McDonald County and then hosts its home tournament Thursday beginning bright and early at 9 p.m. at the Neosho Golf Course.
Neosho track welcomes area schools for an open house meet beginning at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and then, the Wildcats travel to Anderson on Thursday for the McDonald County Relays, a 4 p.m. start.
McDonald County girls soccer opens Thursday on the road against New Covenant Academy.