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Baseball: Benton holds off Minden, takes 1-4A lead

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Russell Hedges
rhedges@bossierpress.com

Cameron Horton has come through for the Benton Tigers all season.
Saturday was no exception.
Horton hit a three-run homer in the second inning in the Tigers’ 6-5 District 1-4A victory over the home-standing Minden Crimson Tide.
The victory gave Benton (18-8, 6-1) sold possession of the the district lead. The Tigers completed the sweep of Minden (11-12, 4-2) in district play.
Northwood (19-5, 4-3), which handed Benton its only district loss, is in third.
Benton and Minden had seven hits each.
Horton was the only Tigers with more than one, but Jaret Gill had a double and Josh Scherer had two RBIs.
Benton took a 1-0 lead in the first. Jordan Shaffer led off with a single and scored after the Tigers drew three straight walks.
After Minden tied it in the bottom of the first, Benton took the lead on Horton’s two-out homer to left field.
Shaffer walked and advanced to second on Wade Grubbs’ single before Horton’s bomb.
The Tide cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom of the inning.
It stayed that way until the fifth, when the Tigers tacked on two more.
Horton walked to lead off the inning and Taylor Ward was hit by a pitch.
Jaret Gill reached on an error and Horton scored on the throw.
Scherer brought Ward home from third with a bunt single.
The Tigers needed all those runs because Minden answered with three of its own in the bottom of the inning thanks to home runs by Austin Sumner and Hunter Leppert.
Benton starter Aaron Henigan, who no-hit the Tide in the first district meeting, got the win. He allowed seven hits in five innings.
Jackson Rutledge pitched two innings of no-hit ball and struck out four for the save.
Minden put two runners on base in the sixth with one out. But Rutledge struck out the final two batters to end the threat.
He sat the Tide down in order in the seventh with a flyout followed by two strikeouts.
Turner Francis had two hits for Minden, including a double. Mikey James also had two hits.
Benton is scheduled to host Airline in a non-district  game tonight at 6. The Tigers host Fair Park in a district doubleheader Tuesday.