The Parkway Panthers held off the Zachary Broncos 6-5 in Game 1 of their best-of-3 Class 5A second-round playoff series Friday night in Zachary.
The No. 12 seed Panthers (23-13) will look for the sweep in Game 2 at 1 p.m. Saturday. If the Broncos (23-13) win, the decisive Game 3 will be played about 30 minutes following Game 2.
Meanwhile, the No. 6 seed Haughton Bucs fell to No. 11 Central-Baton Rouge 6-2 in the first game of their second-round series at Haughton.
Haughton (27-7) will try to avoid elimination in Game 2 at 1 Saturday. If the Bucs win, the teams will face off again about 30 minutes after Game 2 with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals. Central improved to 27-7.
At Zachary, Parkway led 6-3 going into the bottom of the seventh.
The Broncos cut the lead to one with a two-RBI single with two outs. Tyler Bouillion entered the game in relief of Cade Josting and induced a groundout to shortstop Abel Thetford to preserve the victory.
The Panthers and Broncos weren’t unfamiliar with each other. Zachary defeated Parkway twice in tournaments during the regular season. Also, first-year Parkway Head Coach Jay Shamblyn “Sham” Gabehart was the pitching coach at Zachary last year.
Josting turned in a solid outing. He allowed seven hits, struck out seven and walked four.
Tanner Kirkland, Trenton Lape, Shawn Driggers and Zachary Clute had two hits apiece.
Lape had a triple. Driggers had a double and two RBI. Ashton Martin also had a double.
After the Broncos scored a run in the bottom of the first, the Panthers tied it in the top of the second.
Leadoff hitter Martin reached on an error. Clute and Josting had back-to-back singles with two outs.
Zachary led off the bottom of the bottom of the second with three consecutive singles. A double play limited the damage, but the Broncos added two runs for a 3-1 lead.
Zachary had four of its seven hits in the inning.
The Panthers answered in the top of the third.
Lape led off with his triple and Zach Schoenborn walked. Martin drew a walk with one out to load the bases.
Lape scored on a passed ball. Driggers then tied it at 3 with a single. Barrett Newman’s sacrifice fly gave the Panthers the lead.
Parkway scored its final two runs in the fifth.
Leadoff hitter Cameron Fink drew a walk. Then Martin and Driggers had back-to-back doubles and the Panthers led 6-3.
The Broncos didn’t threaten until the bottom of the seventh when they made it a nailbiter.
At Haughton, there was no score through four innings, but Central put five on the board in the top of the fifth.
All five came with two outs including the last four on a home run by Caleb Easterling.
The Bucs got two back in the bottom of the inning on Austin Anderson’s two-out single. Parker Lowrie also singled in the inning. Jackson Voigt and Colin Rains drew walks.
The Wildcats went up 6-2 in the top of the sixth. Nick Hensley’s leadoff single in the seventh was Haughton’s only hit in the final two innings.
Central’s DJ Primeaux pitched a four-hitter with 11 strikeouts and three walks.