Airline baseball kept alive its winning streak and hopes for a top five seed with one week remaining in the regular season.
The Vikings (24-4, 9-1) beat Southwood (7-16, 1-9) 11-1, swept Evangel (9-18, 4-6) and even added a non-district victory over North Caddo (15-7, 4-4) to make it 11 straight while clinching at least a share of the District 1-5A title. Airline still fell a spot to No. 4 in Monday’s unofficial LHSAA power ratings heading into a final two-game series against Haughton (16-10, 6-4), who jumped from 24th to 21st with a 3-0 week.
Rain pushed their first game back to Wednesday and also cancelled a game for No. 12 Byrd (19-9, 9-3) against North Webster (18-6, 1-0), who remains No. 7 in class 3A. The Knights could clinch an outright District 1-3A title with a win over No. 21 Loyola (16-10, 2-1) on Wednesday.
No area team had a better week than Benton (14-11, 7-0), who beat Woodlawn (3-10, 1-4) 18-0 and routed Northwood (9-14, 3-4) 10-0 twice thanks to back-to-back five-inning one-hitters from Tanner Craft and Jackson Rutledge. The Tigers rose one spot to No. 6 heading into a pivotal two-game series with fellow District 1-4A unbeaten Minden (13-9, 7-0), who leapt seven spots to No. 19 after a sweep of No. 13 North DeSoto (15-9, 3-4).
Benton could conceivably make its way into the top 5 with another sweep and a win Saturday over Captain Shreve (15-14, 5-5), the No. 25 team in Class 5A. The Gators should still make the playoffs despite losing four of their last five, but Northwood finds itself in a much more precarious position at No. 33 in Class 4A with a game against Fair Park (1-11, 0-6) and two against North DeSoto this week.
In Class 2A, Calvary (14-11, 7-1) and Lakeside (10-12, 7-1) will likely share the District 1-2A title after splitting a two-game series. The No. 17 Cavs appear destined for a higher seed, while No. 29 Lakeside and No. 28 North Caddo (15-7, 4-4) can’t afford to slip against weaker opponents in their final district series.
No. 6 Cedar Creek (14-9, 7-0) closed out a perfect District 1-1A run with a 10-0 win over D’Arbonne Woods (14-8, 6-1), who still rose a spot to No. 18. Haynesville (8-9, 5-2) enters the week at No. 32 and might need to beat Summerfield to have a chance to join its district mates in the 1A playoffs.