The Haughton Buccaneers and Parkway Panthers won opening games in Parkway’s Nathan George Invitational Thursday night.
The Buccaneers made the most of some Benton mistakes in a 5-4 victory over the Benton Tigers at Haughton. Parkway scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh in a 4-3 victory over Calvary at Parkway.
At Haughton, the Bucs erased a 4-0 Benton lead with five runs in the bottom of the fifth. Four of those were scored with two outs.
All five of Benton’s errors in the game came in the fifth.
Jonathan Plant, Colby Holmes and Sam Herren all had singles with one out to load the bases. Then the Bucs took advantage of the errors to take the lead.
Colt Shankle, who relieved starter Austin Clemmens in the fifth, got the win. He allowed one hit and got the final two outs of the inning.
Nick Heckman, who didn’t allow a hit and struck out four in the final 1 1/3 innings, got the save.
Benton’s Will Hine scattered seven hits and struck out eight. All of Haughton’s runs against him were unearned.
Garrett Hable, Tanner Craft and Sam Simmons all had two hits for Benton. Cody Norris and Taylor Ward had one double each.
The Bucs improved to 2-0. Benton dropped to 0-2.
At Parkway, the Panthers scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh after the Cavaliers tied it at 3 with a run in the top of the inning.
Derious Bradford walked to lead off the seventh and Rickey Bryant reached on an error. Bradford was out at third on Eric Brown’s fielder’s choice. Trevor Tamburo, pinch-running for Bryant, advanced to third on a wild pitch.
After Christian Rayner struck out, Tamburo scored on another wild pitch with Eric Williams at the plate. It was a sweet victory for Parkway, which lost the final 21 games of the 2015 season.
Each team had just four hits. Parkway freshman Amani Larry went 2-for-2. Caleb Reese and Brown had the other hits.
Williams started for Parkway and allowed just two hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked only one.
Bryan Day relieved Williams in the sixth. He allowed two hits and struck out two. Evangel scored three runs but none were earned.
Rayner relieved Day with two outs in the seventh. He hit the first batter and Evangel tied the game on a passed ball. But Rayner struck out the final Eagle on three pitches to preserve the tie.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org