The Benton Tigers and Airline Vikings opened District 1-5A play with victories Tuesday.
In a tight battle between two of the area’s top teams, Benton edged Haughton 6-5 at Haughton. Airline routed Southwood 12-0 in five innings at Airline.
In the other two 1-5A openers, Parkway fell to Byrd 7-3 at Byrd’s LSUS field and Captain Shreve downed Natchitoches Central 14-1 in Natchitoches.
The Benton-Haughton game was Benton’s first district game as a member of Class 5A.
Benton scored all six of its runs in the fourth inning after Haughton had taken a 5-0 lead.
Pitcher Grayson Gates led off the inning with a single and Rylan Lawrence followed with a double. After Owen Wainscott walked, Cade Stewart and Brock Van Hoy had back-to-back singles to cut the Bucs’ lead to 5-3.
Consecutive walks scored another run. Bryson Pierce, running for Van Hoy, scored the tying run on Clint Lasiter’s ground out. Dane Stearns’ groundout then scored Austin Berry with the go-ahead run.
Lawrence had two of the Tigers’ five hits.
Gates went the distance, allowing seven hits and four earned runs while striking out seven.
Three of the Bucs’ hits came in the first inning when Haughton put four on the board.
Peyton Stovall, who went 2-for-3, hit his 10th home run of the season for the game’s first run. Roman Tolbert singled and Colin Rains doubled.
The Bucs also took advantage of an error and hit-by-pitch. Chase Keith scored the final run of the inning on Hunter Chavis’ groundout.
Haughton tacked on one run in the third. Keith doubled with one out and scored on a Chavis single.
The Bucs left one runner on base in the both the fourth and fifth. In the sixth, the Bucs left two stranded.
Gates struck out two in the bottom of the seventh and induced a flyout.
Rains went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Chavis also had two RBI.
Starter Jacob Hernandez went three innings, allowing four hits while striking out three. Austin Anderson allowed just one hit over the final four innings with five strikeouts.
Benton (14-3) is scheduled to host Haughton (14-3) in the second of their two-game set Thursday at 6. Stormy weather is in the forecast.
At Airline, Caleb Hemmings struck out 10 in five innings with no walks. He allowed four hits.
The Vikings had nine hits. Hemmings, Carson Carey and Harrison Waxley had two hits and two RBI apiece. All three doubled.
Matthew Scripture had a double and two RBI.
The Vikings led 4-0 after two innings then put eight on the board in the third. All eight came with two outs. Airline took advantage of three consecutive doubles, two singles, three walks and two errors.
Airline (5-12) and Southwood (5-11) are scheduled to play again at 6 p.m. Thursday at Southwood.
At LSUS, Hayden Knotts had a double, one of five Parkway hits. Trenton Lape had two RBI.
The Panthers kept it close through four, trailing just 2-0. But the Yellow Jackets scored four in the bottom of the fifth to go up 6-0.
Byrd starter Mason Langdon allowed just three hits in six innings with 14 strikeouts.
Parkway (11-4) and Byrd (13-2) are scheduled to play the final game in their series at 6 Thursday at Parkway.
In Monday games, Bossier fell to Doyline 12-6 at Doyline and Plain Dealing lost to North Caddo 19-5 at home.
At Doyline, Coleman Beeson and Avery Williams had two hits each for Bossier (3-10). Williams had four stolen bases and Beeson two.
NOTE: The above report is based on information on teams’ GameChanger accounts and provided by coaches.