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High school baseball: Benton suffers one-run loss in first round of 5A playoffs; 3 other parish teams play first-round games Tuesday

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The No. 19 seed Benton Tigers dropped a tough 2-1 decision to No. 14 Ponchatoula in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs Monday night.

The game was delayed three hours because of rain and moved to Southeastern Louisiana’s stadium in Hammond.

Benton closed its first season under Head Coach Dane Peavy 20-12-2. Ponchatoula improved to 22-9.

The game was basically a pitchers’ duel.

Benton starter Cale Latimer gave up three hits and struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out the side in the third.

Bryson Pierce came on in relief with one out and two runners on in the bottom of the sixth. He struck out two in a row to end the threat.

Ponchatoula’s Lakin Polk pitched a three-hitter with seven strikeouts and only one walk.

Benton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Bryson Pierce led off with a single. Cole Weir placed a bunt down the third-base line and was out at first. An errant throw to third allowed Pierce to come home.

Ponchatoula scored both of its runs in the fourth on two singles, a fielder’s choice and a walk. A couple of miscues by the Tigers also contributed.

Benton had the tying run at first in the sixth and seventh.

Preston Hill and Griffin Sibley had the Tigers’ other two hits.

The parish’s other three Class 5A teams are scheduled to play first-round games at home Tuesday with all three starting at 6 p.m.

Haughton (26-6), the No. 6 seed, faces No. 27 Lafayette Southside (15-18), No. 12 Parkway plays No. 21 H.L. Bourgeois (22-10) and No. 16 (16-13) Airline takes on No. 17 Destrehan (20-13).

In a Class 1A first-round game, No. 19 Plain Dealing (8-11) visits No. 14 Slaughter Community Charter Wednesday at 5.

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