High school baseball: Benton, Haughton, Airline fall in first games of second-round series


Friday wasn’t a good night for the three Bossier Parish teams in the second round of the LHSAA baseball playoffs. All three are now in win-or-go-home situations.

Benton, the No. 1 seed in Class 4A, fell to No. 17 Belle Chasse 5-3 in Game 1 of their best-of-3 series at Benton. Game 2 is scheduled for noon Saturday. Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for approximately 3 p.m.

Haughton, the No. 31 seed in Class 5A, lost 1-0 to No. 18 Denham Springs in Game 1 of their series at Denham Springs. Game 2 is scheduled for noon Saturday. Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for approximately 3.

Airline, the No. 12 seed in Class 5A, fell to No. 5 Zachary 13-3 in five innings in Game 1 of their series at Zachary. Game 2 is scheduled for 1 o’clock Saturday. Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for approximately 4.

At Benton, the Tigers (29-7) had a 13-game winning streak snapped. The game was tied at 2 after five, but the Cardinals put three on the board in the top of the fifth.

Belle Chasse starter Holden Dejean allowed six hits in six innings (per Benton stats). He also walked six.

Benton starter Colby Sharp allowed six hits and four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Reliever Kade Bailey allowed one hit and no runs in the final 1 2/3 innings.

Benton’s Garret Hable went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Cody Norris and Connor Jack Smith had doubles. Coleman Nerren and Peyton Long both singled.

The Cardinals (17-14) scored their three runs in the sixth on two walks, a double, single and an error.

The Tigers tied the game at 1 in the third as pinch runner Brandon Seymore scored on an error. After Belle Chasse took a 2-1 lead in the fifth, Benton tied it with a run in the bottom of the inning.

Smith, who led off the inning with a double, scored on Hable’s double to right field.

Benton cut the Cardinals’ lead to 5-3 with a run in the sixth on Norris’ two-out double.

The Tigers had opportunities to put more runs on the board. Benton left 10 runners on base in the game. The Tigers left the bases loaded in the fifth.

Benton should have ace Will Hine available Saturday.

Haughton (17-19), which knocked off No. 2 seed and three-time defending state champion Barbe 2-0 in the first round, got an outstanding performance from Austin Clemmens, who allowed three hits and walked only one.

But the Bucs managed just three hits — singles by Sam Herren, Jathon Patton and Kobe Jackson in the final two innings off reliever Cade Montgomery.

Starter Taylor Higgins pitched five innings of no-hit ball with six strikeouts. The Yellow Jackets pitchers didn’t issue a single walk.

Denham Springs (18-11) scored the only run in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back singles with one out followed by a groundout to short.

Haughton didn’t get a runner on base until Jackson singled with two outs in the sixth. Herren followed with his single but a strikeout ended the threat.

Patton singled with one out in the seventh but Montgomery got two groundouts to end the game.

At Zachary, Airline (22-13) had just four hits, all singles, off Joey Blanchard. Josh James went 2-for-3.

Four Airline pitchers allowed nine hits and issued seven walks. The Vikings also had four errors.

Airline got off to a relatively good start, scoring two runs in the first. The Broncos (26-9) had three of their four errors in the inning.

Cameron Parikh had a leadoff single and scored on an error. Jonathan Brandon scored on Chase Hodges’ sacrifice bunt.

But Zachary answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning on an error, double, walk, back-to-back singles and a sacrifice fly.

The Broncos added two more in the second for a 5-2 lead. Airline cut the lead to one with a run in the fourth on an error. Bryson Connell had a single in the inning.

Zachary responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning and then ended it with five in the fifth.

The Vikings should have ace Parikh available Saturday.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com