Whether Airline and Byrd are District 1-5A co-champions or not, that’s not important to Vikings coach Toby Todd.
Airline guaranteed itself a playoff berth Friday with a 4-0 win against Parkway. The Vikings (19-16, 11-4) remained tied with Byrd (21-13, 11-4), who beat Haughton 13-5, in the regular season finale.
Both teams received automatic playoff berths although Byrd won the series against Airline 2-1.
“We were 32 coming in today, and whoever is 32 is going to get bumped by Grace King,” Todd explains as Grace King is a district winner but will likely finish outside of the top 32 in the power ratings. “But these kids are excited knowing that they are in the playoffs now.
“The Byrd series is the only series we lost, and we’ve gradually gotten better on offense and defense to go with our steady pitching.”
Airline recovered from an 11-inning loss to Parkway on Wednesday to take the last two games.
Byrd rebounded from a series loss to Southwood this past weekend to beat Evangel before sweeping Haughton.
The Yellow Jackets piled on 33 runs in three wins against Haughton.
Haughton struck first for a 1-0 lead but Byrd pulled away with four second-inning runs and seven in the third.
Brennon Maloney and Zack Flash each had two RBIs. Haughton’s John Tomb hit two doubles and his first home run in his last game.
“We’re pretty much doing the same thing. We’re doing a pretty good job with two outs and not letting innings die,” Williams said of the offensive burst. “Flash had some really good at-bats, and our guys made some good baserunning reads to put him in good positions.
“We didn’t come in worried about the district situation. We think we are 23 or 24 right now (in the power ratings), but more importantly at this time of year, we’re playing well, having confidence and having fun.”
For Airline, Cameron Taylor pitched a seven-inning shutout and allowed just three hits. Peyton Davis knocked in two runs in the win.