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High school baseball: Strong pitching performances lift Benton, Bossier to wins; Airline splits with Neville

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The District 1-5A champion Benton Tigers completed the regular season Thursday with a 2-1 district victory over Natchitoches Central in Natchitoches.

In its first first season of 1-5A play, Benton won the district title by three games over runner-up  Byrd, which defeated Southwood 11-1 Thursday.

The Tigers won seven straight District 1-4A championships before moving up to Class 5A last year. No district games were played in 2020 after the season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Airline closed its season with a split in a non-district doubleheader against Neville at home. The Vikings won the first game 3-2 and lost the second 9-2.

Here are the final District 1-5A standings: Benton (26-5, 13-1), Byrd (22-7, 10-4), Haughton (25-7, 9-5), Captain Shreve (15-16, 8-6), Parkway (19-10, 7-7), Airline (10-22, 5-9), Natchitoches Central (14-20, 4-10), Southwood (6-25, 0-14).

In a non-district game, Bossier defeated Plain Dealing 11-1 at the Bearkats’ field at Rusheon. The game was the regular-season finale for Bossier. Plain Dealing is scheduled to play Ringgold on the road Friday, weather permitting.

At Natchitoches Central, Brock Van Hoy pitched a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts and four walks.

Benton scored both of its runs with two outs in the fifth.

Hudson Brignac drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. 

With Rylan Lawrence at the plate and two away, Brignac moved to third on another passed ball. Lawrence walked to put runners at the corners.

Van Hoy then scored both with a double to right field.

Gavin Jacobs had two of the Tigers’ six hits, including a double. Clint Lasiter also had a double.

According to GeauxPreps.com, Benton is No. 7 in the Class 5A power rankings. The Tigers will host a first-round playoff game. Pairings will be announced Sunday and first-round games must be played by Wednesday.

At Airline, Tyler Ferguson’s one-out single in the bottom of the seventh gave the Vikings the victory in the first game.

Mason Morgan and James Ross had back-to-back singles, and Triston Hargrave walked to load the bases.

Freshman Carter White pitched a complete game. He allowed seven hits and one earned run.

Morgan went 2-for-2. Harrison Waxley’s sacrifice fly gave Airline a 2-0 lead in the third.

Morgan had a double in the second game.

According to GeauxPreps.com, Airline is No. 34 in the .5A power rankings. The top 32 teams make the playoffs.

At Rusheon, Bossier senior Coleman Beeson pitched a no-hitter. He struck out 15 and walked only one.

AJ Green went 2-for-3 with a home run, triple and four RBI. Kody Harlow had two RBI.

Jorge Alfaro and Caden White had one triple each.

Bossier finished the regular season 8-17. The Bearkats are No. 30 in the Class 3A power rankings.

Plain Dealing (6-13) is No. 19 in the Class 1A rankings.

NOTE: The above report is based on information on teams’ GameChanger accounts and provided by coaches.

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