The Parkway Panthers and Airline Vikings opened their final District 1-5A series with victories Monday.
Parkway defeated parish rival Haughton 4-0 at Parkway, and Airline downed Captain Shreve 4-2 at Airline.
Haughton’s loss gave Benton the outright championship in its first season of 1-5A district play. The Bucs dropped to 25-6 overall and 9-4 in district with one game left.
Benton, which is scheduled to open its final two-game district series Tuesday at home against Natchitoches Central (14-18, 4-8) at 6 p.m., is 24-4 and 11-1.
At Parkway, three Panthers pitchers limited Haughton to two hits.
Starter Trenton Lape went four innings. He struck out nine and allowed the two hits, both singles.
Hunter Delcomyn pitched two innings and Brandon Levy one.
Parkway’s Zach Schoenborn went 2-for-2. Hayden Knotts had two RBI.
The Panthers broke a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the third. Schoenborn led off with a single. Tanner Kirkland, running for Schoenborn, stole second, advanced to third on Barrett Newman’s groundout and scored on an error.
Haughton loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth thanks to singles by Colin Rains and Austin Anderson and a walk. But Lape ended the threat with consecutive strikeouts.
The Bucs loaded the bases again in the fifth with two outs. But Delcomyn induced a groundout.
Parkway added three in the bottom of the inning.
Cameron Fink, Schoenborn and Newman led off with consecutive singles. Knotts drove in two runs with a one-out single.
Parkway improved to 17-10 overall. The Panthers are 6-7 in district after an 0-6 start.
Parkway is scheduled to play Calvary Baptist at 6 Tuesday at Calvary.
The Panthers and Bucs are scheduled to complete the district series Wednesday at 6 at Haughton.
At Captain Shreve, Harrison Waxley had a huge day for the Vikings, going 3-for-3 with a home run, triple, double and three RBI.
Starter Carson Carey went five innings. He scattered six hits and struck out four. Evan Wendrock allowed one hit and no runs in the final two innings.
Airline took a 1-0 lead in the first. Tyler Ferguson led off with a double, advanced to third on Matthew Scripture’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Waxley’s triple.
The Vikings went up 3-0 in the third, scoring both runs with two outs. Scripture singled and scored on Waxley’s double. Carey then brought home Waxley with a single.
After the Gators cut the lead to one in the top of the fifth, Waxley answered with a two-out homer in the bottom of the inning.
Airline (9-20, 5-8) and Shreve (14-16, 7-6) are scheduled to complete the series at 6 Wednesday at Shreve.
NOTE: The above report is based on information on teams’ GameChanger accounts and provided by coaches.