Saturday, May 18, 2024

High school baseball: Benton edges Parkway; Haughton sweeps Southwood

by Russell Hedges
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The Benton Tigers defeated the Parkway Panthers 5-3 in the first of a key two-game District 1-5A series Thursday at Ronnie Coker Field.

The loss knocked Parkway (20-7, 9-3) out of a tie for first. Captain Shreve (22-8, 8-2), which did not play, now has a one-game lead in the loss column over Parkway and two over Benton (22-9, 8-4).

The Gators play a doubleheader Friday against Southwood then finish district play Saturday with a doubleheader against Airline.

Parkway and Haughton will complete their series Saturday at 1 p.m. at Benton.

The Panthers still have a makeup game against Byrd left. The Tigers host Haughton Monday in a makeup game which will be their final one of the regular season.

Elsewhere, Haughton swept a home doubleheader against Southwood 18-1 in five innings and 15-0 in three. The Bucs improved to 17-10 overall and 6-7 in district.

Natchitoches Central defeated Byrd 3-1. The Chiefs improved to 20-7 and 7-5. Byrd fell to 9-19 and 4-8.

Airline (12-13, 5-6) and Natchitoches Central are playing a makeup game Friday at 5 at Northwestern State.

At Parkway, Benton’s Kade Bryant pitched a complete game. He allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked four, per Benton stats. 

Bryson Pierce went 3-for-4 with a double. Hayden Millen went 2-for-3.

Sean Waits went the distance for Parkway. He allowed seven hits, struck out four and walked two. Maddox Cockerham had two RBI.

Benton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, taking advantage of a walk and an error. Hudson Brignac scored on a groundout by Caleb Frey.

Parkway scored two in the bottom of the third on Cockerham’s two-RBI bases-loaded single with two outs.

The Tigers regained the lead with three runs in the fifth. All three came with two outs.

Brignac had an RBI-single and two more runs scored on an error. 

Benton went up 5-2 in the top of the seventh on an RBI-double by Pierce.

Jackson Holmes and Cole Snell led off the bottom of the inning with singles. Holmes scored on a sacrifice fly by Shawn Driggers, the second out of the inning. Bryant then induced a flyout to end the game.

Regardless of how the rest of the regular season plays out, Parkway and Benton will be in the playoffs. According to, Parkway is No. 11 in the non-select Division I power rankings and Benton is No. 14.

The top 24 teams in the final rankings make the playoffs. The top eight teams receive first-round byes. The No. 9-16 teams his first-round games.

At Haughton, 18 Bucs made plate appearances in the first game. Christian Turner had a home run, triple and five RBI.

Trent McGowen had a double and two RBI. Zach Ross had a double. Landon Rolland and Easton Sellars had two RBI each.

Carson Adcock allowed two hits, struck out eight and walked one. 

Shayden Walston had four RBI in the second game. Braden Adams, Boston Bockhaus and Bryson Baker all had two.

Ryder Rutledge allowed one hit, struck out three and walked two.

According to, Haughton is No. 23 in the power rankings.

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