Baseball: Benton to begin 4A second-round playoff series Friday

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The No. 4 seed Benton Tigers host No. 13 Lakeshore in a best-of-3 Class 4A second-round playoffs series beginning Friday night.

The District 1-4A champion Tigers (26-9) defeated No. 29 Rayne 10-0 in the first round Tuesday. Lakeshore (16-11) defeated No. 20 St. Martinville 5-3 Wednesday.

Game 2 is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday. Game 3, if necessary, will be played immediately following.

Lakeshore (16-11), located in Mandeville, finished second in four-team District 8-4A. Third-seed Franklinton, which advanced to the second round with a 5-3 victory over No. 30 Edna Karr, won the district with a 9-0 mark. The other two teams in 8-4A, Pearly River and Salmen, also made the playoffs but were eliminated in the first round.

According to a report on nola.com, Lakeshore got an outstanding performance from relief pitcher Collin Wilkins against St. Martinville. Wilkins got the Titans out of a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the top of the fourth.

Benton is trying to make it to the quarterfinals for the third straight season. The Tigers lost to St. Michael the Archangel 11-0 last season.

This is the first season best-of-3 series, which put a premium on pitching, have been used in the playoffs. The quarterfinals will also use the format.

The Tigers have gotten solid pitching from Louisiana Tech signee Aaron Sheppard, Tanner Craft and Jackson Rutledge.

Benton has hit the ball well up and down the lineup most of the season.

Louisiana-Lafayette signee Cameron Horton had four hits against Rayne, including two doubles and a triple. Tanner Craft and Branson Woodward had two hits each.

The semifinals and finals at the state tournament May 14-16 in Sulphur will be single games.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com