High school baseball: Airline, Benton win thrillers

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The Airline Vikings and Benton Tigers pulled out one-run baseball victories on Saturday.

Airline edged Parkway 11-10 in a District 1-5A game at Parkway, completing the district sweep of the Panthers. The Vikings also won by a run, 2-1, in the first game Thursday at Airline.

Airline improved to 15-10 overall and 4-0 in 1-5A. Parkway dropped to 13-10 and 2-4. The Panthers were looking for their first win over the Vikings since 2014.

In the other District 1-5A games, Captain Shreve downed Evangel Christian 3-1 and Byrd got past Southwood 9-7.

Byrd (12-12, 6-0) and Airline are tied for first in the loss column. Haughton (11-15, 3-1) is second followed by Captain Shreve (9-16, 3-3), Parkway, Southwood (5-18, 0-4) and Evangel (8-17, 0-6).

Hal Gatti’s two-out, two-strike double in the bottom of the eighth scored the winning run in Benton’s 7-6 victory over the Haughton Buccaneers at Benton. The Bucs scored five in the top of the seventh to rally from a 6-1 deficit.

Benton improved to 20-6. Haughton lost its eighth one-run game of the season.

At Parkway, the Panthers scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 9-7 lead. Airline answered with three in the sixth to take a 10-9 advantage.

Eric Brown scored the tying run in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice bunt by Matthew McKee.

Cameron Parikh led off Airline’s seventh with a double. Chase Hodges brought him home with a ground ball single to center field.

Caleb Reese singled with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Jake Mayfield got a grounder to Parikh at shortstop for the final out.

The game was much different than Thursday’s low-scoring affair where hits were at a premium.

Parkway had 13 hits and Airline had 12.

Josh James went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI for Airline. Parikh doubled twice. Chase Hodges and Anthony Mulrenin both singled twice with Mulrenin getting two RBI. Jonathan Brandon hit a solo home run. Bryson Connell had two RBI.

Eric Williams led Parkway, going 3-for-5 with three doubles. Derious Bradford went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Brown had two hits, including a double. Reese also had two hits. Amani Larry had a double. McKee and Melvin Fayard had two RBI each.

Airline used three pitchers, and Parkway used six. Mayfield pitched the final inning and got the win.

The Vikings tied the game at 9 in the sixth on three consecutive walks followed by a Mulrenin single. Bryson Connell’s groundout to third with the bases loaded scored Peyton Jordan for a 10-9 lead.

At Benton, Benton’s Cody Norris went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Kade Scott went 2-for-3. Cole Horton had two RBI and Sam Simmons had a double.

Benton’s Will Hine didn’t get the win but he turned in a very good performance, allowing three hits and striking out seven in six innings. He left the game with the Tigers up 6-1.

Thanks to four walks, the Bucs cut the lead to 6-2 with two outs in the seventh. Jathon Patton and Cameron Townsend hit back-to-back two-RBI doubles to tie it.

Simmons doubled with two outs in the bottom of the inning but was left stranded. Haughton loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth but Kade Bailey got a lineout to end the threat.

Leadoff batter Norris reached first on a error in the bottom of the inning and advanced to second on a groundout by Horton.

With two outs, Gatti fouled off four straight pitches with a full count. His line drive to center field resulted in the walkoff win.

Haughton’s Kobe Jackson had two hits.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com