Saturday, May 18, 2024

High school baseball: Parkway, Benton complete sweeps in first round of playoffs

by Russell Hedges
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The Parkway Panthers and Benton Tigers completed sweeps in their best-of-3 non-select Division I first-round playoff series Sunday.

The games were pushed back a day because of Saturday’s heavy rain.

Parkway, the No. 11 seed, defeated No. 22 Ponchatoula 9-3 at Ronnie Coker Field. The Panthers won Game 1 4-2 Friday.

Parkway (24-8) will visit No. 6 Live Oak (23-11) in the second round. The Eagles had a first-round bye.

Benton, the No. 13 seed, defeated No. 20 Denham Springs 13-1 in five innings at Benton. The Tigers won Game 1 1-0 in eight innings Friday.

Benton (27-9) will visit No. 4 Dutchtown (22-10) in the second round. The Griffins had a first-round bye.

At Parkway, Sean Waits pitched a complete game. He scattered seven hits, struck out three and walked two.

Waits also led the Panthers at the plate. He went 3-for-4 with a two-RBI double.

Seven other Panthers had hits.

Abel Thetford had two doubles and an RBI. Cole Snell went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Trent Howard also went 2-for-3.

Jax Thomson had a double and two RBI. Maddox Cockerham had a double and an RBI.

The Panthers, who were the designated visiting team, got off to a fast start with five runs in the top of the first.

Thetford, Waits and Thomson all doubled. Snell and Kamron Blackshire singled.

Parkway scored single runs in the second and third. Thetford and Cockerham had back-to-back doubles in the second. Snell’s sacrifice fly scored Howard, who led off with a single, in the second.

The Panthers took a 7-3 lead into the final inning then added two more. Parkway took advantage of some errors and singles by Waits and Shawn Driggers.

At Benton, the Tigers scored eight runs in the top of the second after a scoreless first. Benton, the designated visiting team, had four hits in the frame. Hudson Brignac and Malachi Ziegler both had two-RBI doubles. 

Zeigler, Hayden Millen, Caleb Frey had singles. Griffin Sibley, Kannon Greer, Case Jorden and Bryson Pierce drew walks. 

Thomas Allen pitched a two-hitter with five strikeouts and no walks.

Brignac and Millen both went 2-for-3. Brignac smacked a solo home run in the third. Millen had a two-RBI double in the Tigers’ four-run fourth.

Frey and Zeigler both went 2-for-4 with two RBI. 

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