The Airline Vikings and Benton Tigers moved closer to winning their respective district championships with victories Thursday.
Airline scored a run on an error in the bottom of the seventh to edge Captain Shreve 3-2 in the first of a three-game series at Airline.
The Vikings improved to 19-9 overall and 9-1 in District 1-4A. Airline leads Shreve (15-14, 6-4) and Byrd (18-13, 6-4) by three games with five to play. Haughton (16-11, 6-5) is in fourth.
Byrd knocked off Southwood 22-5 in the first game of their series Elsewhere in 1-5A, Haughton downed Parkway 11-4. It was the Bucs’ second win in as many nights over the Panthers.
In District 1-4A, Benton routed Northwood 11-1 in six innings at Northwood. The Tigers improved to 22-8 and 9-1 with two district games left. North DeSoto (17-7, 8-2), which defeated Huntington 16-4 Thursday, and Loyola (17-9, 7-2), which defeated Minden 8-5, are in a virtual tie for second.
Benton can clinch at least a share of their third straight 1-4A title with a victory at Loyola Saturday.
At Airline, Captain Shreve scored two runs in the top of the seventh to tie it at 2. Tanner Daniel’s one out double put the winning run on second. After Daniel advanced to third on a wild pitch, Jacob Jemes lined out to shortstop for the second out.
The Jackets then elected to intentionally walk Cameron Taylor and Peyton Davis to load the bases.
Peyton Coker hit a grounder and the Jackets made an error that allowed Daniel to come home.
The Vikings scored their first two runs in the first. Taylor followed a Daniel single with a one-out double. Davis brought Daniel home with a single and Taylor scored on the throw.
Daniel led the Vikings at the plate, going 3-for-4. Davis had two hits.
Andrew Lowe scattered five hits and struck out five for the complete-game victory. He did not walk a batter.
Game 2 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Shreve with Game 3 slated for 2 p.m. Saturday at Airline, weather permitting.
At Haughton, the Bucs broke open a tight game with six runs in the sixth. Nick Heckman led off the inning with a triple. Seth Bradshaw and Sam Wallace had singles in the inning. Tyler Davis drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Heckman had a double to go with his triple. Wallace went 2-for-4. Seth Ryan had a double. Bradshaw, Davis and Kirkland Seals had two RBI each.
Heckman allowed just three hits in six innings. The final game of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Haughton.
At Northwood, Tyler Stephens hit home run and a double to lead the Tigers. Cameron Horton and Branson Woodlward both went 2-for-3 with doubles. Josh Scherer had a double and three RBI.
Tanner Craft scattered six hits and struck out four.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com