It’s still early in the District 1-5A baseball race, but things tightened up at the top Tuesday night.
Speaking of tight, the three district contests were decided by a total of four runs.
The Haughton Bucs defeated the Captain Shreve Gators 3-1 at Haughton, ending the Gators’ 16-game winning streak.
The Parkway Panthers suffered their first district loss to the Evangel Christian Eagles 6-5 at Parkway. The Airline Vikings lost to the Byrd Yellow Jackets 4-3 at Airline.
All three matchups resulted in a split of the two district games.
Parkway (15-5, 3-1), Haughton (11-11, 3-1) and Evangel (8-13, 3-1) are tied for the lead through the second series of games. Captain Shreve is 17-2 and 1-1. Four-time defending champion Airline (8-14, 1-3) and Byrd (10-12, 1-3) are tied for fifth.
In non-district games, the Benton Tigers fell Natchitoches Central 5-2 at Benton and Bossier dropped a 16-15 decision to Haynesville at Haynesville.
At Haughton, Nick Heckman pitched a three-hitter with eight strikeouts.
Peyton Stovall and Jathon Patton had big nights at the plate.
Stovall went 3-for-3 with a double. Patton went 3-for-4 with a double.
CJ McWilliams went 2-for-2 with an RBI. Mason Simmons had two RBI.
Haughton took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Kobe Jackson led off with a walk and reached third on Hunter Harlan’s bunt single. He scored on a sacrifice fly by McWilliams.
Harlan advanced to third on a single by Stovall and scored on Simmons’ sacrifice fly.
Shreve cut the lead to one with a run in the top of the fifth.
McWilliams and Stovall led off the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back singles. McWilliams scored on another sacrifice fly by Simmons.
Heckman struck out the first two batters in the top of the seventh and then got a groundout to end the game.
At Parkway, the Panthers gave up four runs in the first on back-to-back home runs by Noah Gondran and CJ Berry and a two-out error.
Evangel extended the lead to 5-0 in the third on Berry’s second homer.
Parkway got on the board in the fourth with two runs. Derious Bradford singled, advanced to second on an error and scored on Peyton Lewis’ single.
With two outs, Matthew McKee, who reached on an error, scored on another error.
Evangel added a big run in the fifth on a two-out double.
The Panthers almost came all the way back in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs.
Caleb Reese drove in a run with a triple to make it 6-3. With two outs, McKee smacked a two-run homer over the left-field wall.
But Parkway couldn’t do any more damage.
The Panthers put a runner on base in the sixth and seventh but couldn’t advance him.
Lewis had two of Parkway’s seven hits, including a double.
At Airline, Byrd broke a 3-3 tie with a run with two outs in the top of the seventh. The Vikings had two errors in the inning.
Airline’s Hayden Travinski doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning. He advanced to third on a groundout but the Jackets got another groundout to get the victory.
Seven Vikings combined for eight hits. Cole Broadway went 2-for-3 with a triple. Bryson Connell had a double.
Airline took a 2-1 lead in the third. Carson McIntosh and Hunter Hollis had singles. Connell got an RBI on a groundout, scoring Chris Hayes.
Byrd scored single runs in the fourth and fifth to take a 3-2 lead. Airline tied it in the sixth. Broadway led off with the triple and scored a a bunt by Hayes.
Airline starter Brett Webber went five innings. He allowed five hits, struck out four and walked one. Will Tynes gave up two hits and struck out four in relief.
At Benton, the Tigers led Natchitoches Central 2-1 through five innings despite having only one hit. But the Chiefs erupted for four runs in the top of the sixth.
Natchitoches Central’s Josh Fortenberry completed the one-hitter. The Chiefs had seven hits.
Sam Simmons had Benton’s hit, an RBI-triple.
The Tigers dropped to 12-9. Natchitoches Central improved to
At Haynesville, Barrett Bussie, Jon Mikal Robertson and Preston Allen had three hits and two RBI apiece for Bossier, which recorded 15 hits.
The game went into extra innings tied at 11. The Bearkats scored four in the top of the eighth, but Haynesville answered with five in the bottom of the inning.
NOTE: The above report is based on information on teams’ official GameChanger account or received from coaches.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org