Home Sports-Free High school baseball: Airline clinches District 1-5A title; Benton clinches share of...

High school baseball: Airline clinches District 1-5A title; Benton clinches share of 1-4A championship


The Airline Vikings clinched the District 1-5A baseball championship with a 10-0, five-inning victory over the Haughton Buccaneers on Tuesday at Haughton.

Airline improved to 21-11 overall and 10-1 in district. The Vikings have a two-game lead over Byrd (15-15, 9-3), which has completed district play, with one to play.

It is the fourth straight championship for Airline. The last three have been outright titles.

Airline hosts Haughton (15-18, 7-4) on Thursday in the final regular-season game for both teams. Airline was No. 15 in the latest LHSAA Class 5A power rankings released Tuesday. The top 16 teams host first-round playoff games.

Haughton was No. 31. The top 32 in the final rankings generally qualify for the playoffs, but district champions automatically qualify regardless of where they are ranked.

In another District 1-5A game, the Parkway Panthers fell to Evangel Christian 7-6 at Evangel.

Parkway (17-13) was No. 22 in the power rankings and will make the playoffs for the first time since moving up to Class 5A in 2012. The last time Parkway made the playoffs was in 2011 when it was a Class 4A school.

Parkway has lost seven one-run games, including three in district.

Elsewhere, the Benton Tigers clinched a share of their fifth straight District 1-4A championship with a 16-1 victory over the Bossier Bearkats at Bossier’s field at Rusheon.

Benton, which is No. 1 in the Class 4A power rankings, improved to 25-6 overall and 12-0 in district. The Tigers have a two-game lead over North DeSoto (23-9, 10-2) with two to play.

Benton can clinch the outright championship with a victory at Northwood (18-12, 7-3) on Wednesday. The Tigers close district play with Game 2 against Northwood on Friday at home.

At Haughton, Airline scored runs in the first and second innings and then blew the game open with eight in the fourth.

Chase Hodges’ two-out double with the bases loaded made it 10-0. Hodges also got things started in the inning with a one-out single.

Hunter Nycum and Jonathan Brandon also had hits in the inning. The Vikings took advantage of two walks, two hit batters and an error.

Hodges finished 2-for-3 with the three RBI. Nycum also went 2-for-3 with a double. Josh James walked twice, singled and had an RBI.

Hunter Hollis singled, walked and had an RBI. Jonathan Brandon went 1-for-2, was hit by a pitch and drove in a run. Peyton Jordan had two RBI. Bryson Connell was hit by a pitch and walked.

Airline starter Cameron Parikh allowed two hits and struck out four in four innings. Jake Mayfield didn’t allow a hit in one inning of relief.

Haughton’s Jathon Patton went 2-for-2.

At Rusheon, 17 Benton players made plate appearances in the five-inning game. Per Benton stats, Turner Toms, Kade Bailey and Andrew McPherson combined on a no-hitter with 11 strikeouts.

Ten Tigers had hits. Hayden Gatti went 2-for-2 with two RBI. Peyton Long had two hits, including a double.

Hal Gatti had a triple and two RBI. Coleman Nerren had an RBI-triple.

Rangel Miller scored Bossier’s lone run. The Bearkats dropped to 12-17 and 5-7. Bossier is No. 34 in the power rankings and will likely need an upset of Minden on Wednesday to have a chance to move up. The Bearkats close the regular season with games against Woodlawn on Thursday and Friday.

At Evangel, Amani Larry went 3-for-3 with a home run, double and three RBI. He was also twice hit by pitches.

Eric Williams had three hits, including a home run. Caleb Reese had an RBI-double.

Evangel scored five runs in the bottom of the third to take a 7-2 lead. But Parkway rallied within two with three in the fourth.

The Panthers cut the led to one with one out in the top of the seventh when Larry was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. But the game ended with the bases still jammed as the Eagles closed out the Panthers with two strikeouts.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com

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