The Benton Tigers clinched their fourth straight District 1-4A baseball championship with a 10-0, five-inning victory over the Minden Crimson Tide Friday night in Minden.
The Tigers (17-11, 9-0) completed the sweep after winning Game 1 11-1 Thursday in Benton. They have one make-up game left Saturday against Huntington. Minden fell to 13-11 and 7-2.
Benton has outscored its nine district opponents 108-2.
Saturday is the final day of the regular season. Playoff pairings will be announced Sunday. Benton should be seeded around No. 6 and host a first-round game.
Airline will also be hosting a first-round game. The District 1-5A champion Vikings completed a sweep of Haughton Friday with a 6-2 victory. Airline won Game 1 Thursday 7-6 in eight innings.
The Vikings closed the regular season 26-4 and 11-1 in district. They finished two games ahead of Byrd. Airline should be among the top four seeds in the 5A playoffs.
Haughton (17-12, 6-6) will also be going to the playoffs, but the Bucs will be on the road against a higher seed in the first round.
Also in District 1-5A Friday, Parkway lost a tough one, falling to Evangel Christian 3-2 in nine innings.
In another District 1-4A game, Bossier routed Fair Park 18-4.
At Minden, Benton scored in four of the five innings and ended the game with five in the fifth.
Arkansas signee Jackson Rutledge pitched a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts. Coleman Nerren went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI. Conner Jack Smith went 2-for-3.
Cody Norris had a two-RBI double. Austin Beck also had a double.
At Haughton, Airline left-hander Cameron Taylor improved to 7-0. He allowed just five hits and one earned run and struck out six. Jonathan Brandon went 2-for-4. Chase Hodges had two hits Hayden Waxley hit a home run. Austin Zickefoose had a double and two RBI.
The game was scoreless until Airline put five on the board in the fifth.
Triston Carmack had a double for Haughton.
At Evangel, Parkway sophomore Eric Williams pitched an outstanding game. He allowed just three hits and one earned run in eight innings while striking out nine. Amani Larry had a double, and Matthew McKee had an RBI.
At Rusheon, Bossier evented its record at 12-12 with only Saturday’s home game against Minden left.
Brent Wroblewski went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Chase Bounds and Kaleb Harlow had three hits and two RBI each. Omar Green went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
Winning pitcher Devon Smith had a double. Jon-Mikal Robertson had three RBI.
NOTE: The above report is based on box scores and play-by-plays on teams’ official GameChanger accounts and information received from coaches.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org