High school baseball: Benton clinches share of 1-5A title; Parkway rallies for win

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The Benton Tigers clinched at least a share of the District 1-5A championship with a 7-4 victory over the Airline Vikings on Saturday afternoon at Benton.

Benton (24-4, 11-1) has a 2.5-game lead over Haughton (24-5, 8-3) and Byrd (20-5, 8-3) with two to play.

The Buccaneers and Yellow Jackets were scheduled to play Saturday at Byrd’s LSUS field, but the game was postponed because of wet grounds. It has been rescheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday.

The winner will have sole possession of second place and still have a shot at earning a share of the championship. But they would have to win their final two games and hope Benton is swept by Natchitoches Central.

In the only other 1-5A game played Saturday, Parkway defeated Natchitoches Central 6-5 at Parkway.

At Benton, the Tigers rallied from a 4-1 deficit after four innings, scoring three in the fifth to tie and three in sixth.

Grayson Gates and Dane Stearns both went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Rylan Lawrence went 2-for-4.

Brock Van Hoy’s two-run double with two outs in the fifth tied it. 

The Tigers scored all three of their runs in the inning with two away. Stearns and Lawrence both had singles and Gates was hit by a pitch.

Owen Wainscott, Gavin Jacobs, Stearns, Gates and Lawrence all had singles in the sixth.

Grayson Mims got the win in relief. He allowed one hit and no runs while striking out three in two innings.

Benton starter Van Hoy allowed three hits and two earned runs in five innings. He struck out seven and walked five.

Airline’s Carson Carey went 2-for-4 with two RBI. 

The Vikings took a 2-0 lead in their first at-bat. Matthew Scripture and Harrison Waxley drew back-to-back walks then moved up a base on a wild pitch.

Carey brought them home with a one-out single.

Benton answered with one run in the bottom of the first. Clint Lasiter led off with a single, advanced to second when Stearns was hit by a pitch and scored on a Gates’ single.

The Vikings added a run in the third. Waxley reached on an error, stole second, advanced to third on a dropped third strike/passed ball and scored on Caleb Hemmings’ groundout.

Airline took the 4-1 lead in the fourth. After being hit by a pitch, Noah Littleton stole second, advanced to third on Caden Long’s sacrifice bunt and scored on an errant pitch.

Benton’s series against Natchitoches Central (14-18, 4-8) is scheduled to begin at 6 Tuesday at Benton. Airline (8-20, 4-8) is scheduled to open its final district series at home Monday at 6 against Captain Shreve.

At Parkway, the Panthers tied the game at 5 with two runs in the sixth and then won it with a run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

In the seventh, Trenton Lape drew a walk and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After Trenton Defatta walked, Lape scored on a passed ball.

Lape and the Panthers also made the most of some mistakes by the Chiefs in the sixth. He made it to second on an error, reached third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Defatta.

Norcross then reached on a bunt, stole second and advanced to third on an error. Zach Schoenborn brought him home with a two-out single.

Schoenborn had a big day, going 3-for-3 with two RBI. 

Parkway took a 3-0 lead with a run in the first and two in the second. 

Hayden Knotts scored in the first after getting a leadoff single and advancing to second when Brandon Levy drew a walk. He reached third on a wild pitch and scored on a fly ball by Defatta.

Cameron Fink tripled with one out in the second and scored on a Schoenborn single. Tanner Kirkland, running for Scoenborn, advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a dropped third strike. He scored on Gabe Larry’s groundout.

Parkway starter Sean Waits went six innings. He allowed six hits and one earned run. Hunter Delcomyn sat the Chiefs down in order in the seventh.

Parkway (16-10, 5-7) is scheduled to begin its final district series at 6 Monday at home against Haughton.

NOTE: The above report is based on information on teams’ GameChanger accounts.