High school baseball: Airline Jason Bland Tournament set to begin Thursday

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The annual Airline Jason Bland Memorial Tournament begins Thursday and runs through Saturday.

Airline, Parkway, Haughton, Benton, Byrd, Texas High, Sulphur, Ruston, Neville, Natchitoches Central, West Ouachita and Captain Shreve are competing.

Games will be played at Airline, Parkway, Haughton, Captain Shreve and Byrd all three days.

Weather could be an issue Friday and Saturday. According to The Weather Channel, there is an 80 percent chance of rain Friday and a 70 percent Saturday.

Three-time defending District 1-5A champion Airline is off to a 6-3 start that includes a win over defending 5A state champ Barbe. Four-time defending District 1-4A champion Benton is 9-4.

Parkway is off to a 6-2 start under new coach David George. Haughton is 4-6.

Sulphur, a traditional Class 5A power, is 11-3. The Tors defeated Airline 2-1 in their tournament on Feb. 25.

Sulphur was the No. 6 seed in the playoffs last season, but the Tors were upset by No. 27 Captain Shreve 3-1 in the first round. The Gators and Tors face off Saturday at 11 a.m. at Shreve.

West Ouachita (3-5) was the Class 4A state runner-up last season. The Chiefs face Benton at 10 a.m. Saturday at Airline in a rematch of last year’s quarterfinals. West Ouachita swept the Tigers in the two-game series.

Byrd reached the Class 5A championship game last season, but the Yellow Jackets are off to a slow start at 1-7.

Ruston (5-3) was a Class 5A quarterfinalist last season.

SCHEDULE

AT AIRLINE
THURSDAY
Natchitoches Central vs. Benton, 4 p.m.
Airline vs. Texas High, 7 p.m.
FRIDAY
Benton vs. Texas High, 4 p.m.
Sulphur vs. Airline, 7 p.m
SATURDAY
West Ouachita vs. Benton, 10 a.m.
Ruston vs. Airline, 12:30 p.m.
Texas High vs. Natchitoches Central, 3 p.m.
Neville vs. Airline, 6 p.m.

AT HAUGHTON
THURSDAY
Sulphur vs. Haughton, 6 p.m.
FRIDAY
Ruston vs. Haughton, 5 p.m.
SATURDAY
Natchitoches Central vs. Haughton, 11 a.m.
West Ouachita vs. Haughton, 3 p.m.

AT PARKWAY
THURSDAY
Ruston vs. Parkway, 6 p.m.
FRIDAY
Natchitoches Central vs. Parkway, 6 p.m.
SATURDAY
Neville vs. Parkway, noon
Sulphur vs. Parkway, 3 p.m.

AT BYRD
THURSDAY
Neville vs. Byrd, 6 p.m.
FRIDAY
West Ouachita vs. Byrd, 6 p.m.
SATURDAY
Texas High vs. Byrd, 11 a.m.
Ruston vs. Byrd, 4:30 p.m.

AT CAPTAIN SHREVE
THURSDAY
West Ouachita vs. Captain Shreve, 6 p.m.
FRIDAY
Neville vs. Captain Shreve, 6 p.m.
SATURDAY
Sulphur vs. Captain Shreve, 11 a.m.
Benton vs. Captain Shreve, 2 p.m.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com