Three of four local baseball squads advance in state playoffs

(Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


Benton, Haughton and Parkway all advanced to the second round of the LHSAA’s Non-Select Division I baseball playoffs by taking the first two games in best-of-three series. Loyola dropped out of the Select Division III bracket after losing both of Saturday’s games that followed a Flyers’ win on Friday.

Benton defeated District 1-5A foe Natchitoches Central 5-4 Saturday after taking a 3-1 win Thursday. The Tigers walked it off on a Kenner Lauterbach sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Bryson Pierce. Cale Latimer was 2-for-3 for the Tigers with a home run and three pitchers limited the Chiefs to four hits as they walked two and struck out 10. Riley Bruton pitched the final three innings for the win allowing one hit, one unearned run, while he walked one and struck out three.

Haughton took both games from Covington on Saturday after Friday’s first game was rained out. The Bucs got a shutout from Austin Anderson (8-4) in a 10-0 win in the first game. Christian Turner and Zach Ross were both 3-for-4 with Turner hitting a home run and driving in four runs. Haughton held off the Lions in the second game with an 8-7 nailbiter as Turner hit another home run and drove in two. Colin Rains was 3-for-4 with a double. Gary Rondeau (3-0) got the win and Caleb Brown earned his second save of the season.

Parkway got a pair of pitching gems to defeat Chalmette 3-0 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday. Shawn Driggers limited the Owls to seven hits, one walk and struck out five in posting the shutout. Trenton Lape was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Colton Smith got the win on Saturday allowing one unearned on four hits, although he walked six, but struck out five. Brandon Levy and Abel Thetford had doubles for the Panthers, now 22-8.

Loyola took the first game of its series with Newman in New Orleans 4-2 in eight innings on Friday. Gavin Brint allowed one earned run pitching the complete-game win. He allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out four. Hayden Horton’s two-run single in the eighth provided the winning runs. Gray Deason was 3-for-3 with a double and drove in the Flyers’ first two runs with a first-inning single.

The Greenies ended the Flyers’ season with wins of 7-1 and 14-1 on Saturday. Deason’s home run was one of three hits for Loyola (10-23) in the first game and Murphy Tamplin was 2-for-2 in the second game.