Bearcats, Cougars, Aggies shine on diamonds; Ruston tennis stacks up state qualifiers

(Ruston High School baseball photo by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT/LPJ)

Staff writer

Ruston rolled as Jacob Martin drove in four runs, Cedar Creek got a dominating outing by Jack Parks on the bump, and Eli Watson’s three-run bomb helped Choudrant to its school record-extending 23rd straight win, a rout at Simsboro, in Monday’s parish prep baseball action.

In the Region I, Division I tennis tournament at the Ruston Sports Complex, eight Ruston netters qualified for the state tournament while the top-seeded doubles tandem of Will Johnson and Andrew Ellis, along with Caleb Free in singles, advanced to today’s semifinal rounds, staying in contention for regional championships.

RUSTON BASEBALL: In an 11-0 rout of visiting Red River, Martin lined a bases-loaded triple to right field in the second inning as the Bearcats doubled a 4-0 first-inning lead.

Isaac White cracked a two-run triple in the bottom of the first.

Four Ruston pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout. Blaine Rollins struck out four in the first two innings, followed by three Ks in the third inning by Dyson Fields, three more in the fourth by Joshua Miller before Bryant Simpson finished up in the fifth.

Ruston (22-8) goes to Ouachita Wednesday and hosts the Lions Thursday in District 2-5A action.

CEDAR CREEK: Parks fanned 10 and walked none in a complete-game four-hitter for the Cougars as they topped Union Parish 6-2 in Farmerville.

Parks was also one of three Creek batters with two hits, joined by Nathan Gremillion and J.T. Stephens. Gremillion drove in a pair of runs for the Cougars (12-13).

Cedar Creek opened a 5-0 lead by scoring twice in the second and third innings, and adding another in the fourth. Union Parish pushed in its two in the bottom of the sixth.

Stephens doubled to open the second inning and scored on Gremllion’s single. A Cole Conroy sacrifice fly made it 2-0. A Parks single started the two-run third.

CHOUDRANT vs. SIMSBORO: Watson homered to left field in the second, and by then, the Aggies (26-3) were on the way to a 17-1 domination of their District 2-B parish rivals.

Choudrant scored five in the top of the first, three in the second and seven in the third while cracking 15 hits Monday evening.

Gavin Murphy went 3-for-3 and Landon Hennen, T.J. Smith and Brandon Carter each cracked two hits for the winners, top-ranked in Class B. Hennen pitched all five innings, striking out a dozen and allowing only two hits for the Tigers.

RUSTON TENNIS: Joining Ellis, Free and Johnson as state qualifiers Monday were the doubles combo of Aaron Williams and Will Findley, and three Lady Bearcats – Karen Sternitzky and twins Sophie and Ellie Puljak in doubles.

The eight-player contingent represents half of Ruston’s 16-person regional roster. Six of the qualifiers are seniors, while Free is a junior and Finley is a freshman.

Coach David Poe, in his fifth season as head coach, said he is proud of the competitors advancing.

“Without checking the records, I believe this is one of the best days we’ve had at regionals,” he said. “We’re hoping for more success (today).”

Ellis and Johnson, and Free, compete in regional semifinals beginning at 8 a.m. today, with the championship matches set for noon.

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