High school baseball: Benton, Haughton, Parkway, Airline advance; Panthers, Vikings to face off in 5A second-round series

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The Benton Tigers, Haughton Bucs, Parkway Panthers and Airline Vikings all advanced to the second round of the baseball playoffs with victories Tuesday.

Defending state champion Benton, the No. 4 seed, rallied past No. 29 Plaquemine 4-2 in a Class 4A first-round game in Benton.

The Tigers (29-5) will host District 1-4A rival and No. 13 Northwood (18-12) in a best-of-three series Friday and Saturday. The Falcons defeated No. 20 Riverdale 11-1 in six innings in the first round.

In Class 5A first-round games, No. 12 Haughton defeated No. 21 Comeaux 3-0 at Haughton, No. 3 Parkway routed No. 30 Natchitoches Central 10-0 in five innings at Parkway and No. 14 Airline knocked off No. 19 Captain Shreve 2-0 at Airline.

Parkway (27-5) will host Airline (19-14) in a battle of parish and 1-5A foes in the best-of-3 second round Friday and Saturday.

Haughton (20-9) will travel to No. 5 West Monroe (23-10) in the second round Friday and Saturday. The Rebels defeated No. 28 East St. John 3-0 Tuesday.

In another Class 4A first-round game, No. 28 Bossier fell to No. 5 West Ouachita 12-0 in five innings on the road. The Bearkats closed the season 14-14.

At Benton, the Tigers trailed 2-0 and had just one hit, a double by Clint Lasiter in the first, through four innings. Benton batters were making good contact but they had five flyouts, one popup and two groundouts.

That changed in the bottom of the fifth. Matthew Gennaro and Tanner Timms had back-to-back one-out singles. JT Brice advanced them with a sacrifice bunt.

Then Cade Scott drilled the first pitch he saw over the right-field fence, putting the Tigers on top 3-2.

Benton got an insurance run when Sam Simmons homered over the left-field fence with one out in the sixth. Simmons has come close to hitting one out in the third.

Landon Joyner scattered six hits in 6 1/3 innings to get the win. Neither of the runs he allowed were earned. He struck out 12 and walked only two.

Joyner had back-to-back strikeouts after giving up consecutive singles in the top of the fifth.

Simmons got the final two outs of the game.

Plaquemine’s Ty Morales also pitched a solid game. He allowed five hits with three of those coming in the decisive fifth. The Green Devils closed the season 13-16.

At Haughton, Chase Keith and Dawson Hunt combined on the shutout. Starter Keith allowed four hits in 3 1/3 innings. Hunt allowed just one hit and struck out four in 3 1/3 innings.

Caleb Green had two of the Bucs’ four hits.

Haughton scored all three of its runs in the bottom of the third.

Carter Griffin drew a walk with one out, advanced to third on a single by CJ McWilliams and scored on Logan Wilkerson’s groundout.

McWilliams then scored on a groundout by Peyton Stovall. After stealing second, Stovall scored on a Green single to center.

Comeaux (18-16) had its chances. The Spartans left runners on third in the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth. But Keith, Hunt and the Bucs’ defense stepped up and kept Comeaux off the board.

At Parkway, Amani Larry led off the bottom of the first with a home run and the Panthers scored four more before the inning was over.

The Panthers had five hits in the inning. Eric Brown had a double while Caleb Reese, Christion Rayner, Gabe Larry and Hayden Knotts all had singles.

Brown and Peyton Lewis both homered in the second to make it 7-0.

The Panthers added one in the third. Collier Cloinger led off with a single and scored on a double by Knotts.

Lewis scored Brown from second with a single in the fourth.

Amani Larry ended it in the fifth. He was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a passed ball. Larry reached third on a sacrifice fly by Reese then scored on another passed ball.

Larry went 2-for-3 with the home run and a triple. Brown, Lewis and Knotts all went 2-for-3 with two RBI apiece.

Knotts got the win. He allowed two hits in three innings. Lewis allowed one hit in the final two innings.

Natchitoches Central finished 9-24.

At Airline, Vikings starter Will Tynes allowed just one hit in six innings to get the win.

Airline got only three hits off Shreve’s Mark Mitchell, but one of those was a two-run home run by Tynes with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. With the count full, he sent the ball over the center-field fence. Chris Lutterman, who drew a two-out walk on five pitches, also scored.

Shreve (15-19) had a few scoring opportunities. The Gators left runners at third in the first and fourth with Tynes getting groundouts both times.

Shreve got a single with two outs in the the fifth and runners at first and second. But left fielder Cole Broadway threw to Hayden Travinski who tagged a runner trying to score.

Shreve got a leadoff double in the seventh. But Connell got a flyout and then struck out the last two batters to end the game.

Robert Summerlin/Special to The Press-Tribune … Haughton’s Dawson Hunt pitches in the Bucs’ win against Comeaux Tuesday.

Robert Summerlin/Special to The Press-Tribune. … Airline’s Will Tynes smacks a two-run homer in the Vikings’ win against Captain Shreve Tuesday.
Russell Hedges/Press-Tribune … Benton’s Sam Simmons watches a long fly ball that almost left the yard. Simmons did leave the yard in the sixth in Benton’s 4-2 victory over Plaquemine.
Russell Hedges/Press-Tribune … Parkway’s Amani Larry hit a home run and tripled in the Panthers’ 10-0 victory over Natchitoches Central Tuesday.