Bearcats’ team of Ellis, Johnson rule tennis regionals; Prep baseball: Cougars overwhelmed late, Aggies extend streak

Pictured is the Ruston High School No. 1 boys doubles tennis team of Andrew Ellis and Will Johnson, who qualified for the state tournament on Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)

Staff writer

Visiting St. Frederick’s erupted late to subdue Cedar Creek while Choudrant dodged a threat to its school record winning streak with a 3-1 victory at D’Arbonne Woods, and Simsboro’s struggles continued in parish prep baseball action Tuesday evening.

Ruston High School’s tennis team wrapped up a very successful Region I, Division I championship at the Ruston Sports Complex Tuesday afternoon as the Bearcats’ No. 1 doubles team of Andrew Ellis and Will Johnson rolled to a regional title. Eight RHS competitors qualified for the state tournament next week.

RUSTON TENNIS: Ellis/Johnson, both seniors, did what they’ve done all season long and overwhelmed their opponents. They only dropped three games out of 51 they played in rolling through their draw, reflecting their No. 1 seeding.

Junior Caleb Free was defeated by the top-seed in his singles bracket Tuesday morning in the regional semifinals, but already had earned a state tournament berth.

Other state tournament qualifiers from Ruston are Will Fendley (a freshman), twins Ellie and Sophie Puljak, Taryn Sternitzky and Aaron Williams.

CEDAR CREEK BASEBALL: The Cougars were one run down going to the top of the sixth inning but St. Frederick’s exploded for seven runs and then added three more in the seventh to record a 12-4 road win.

The visitors opened the pivotal sixth with four straight hits, among seven in the frame, to expand a 2-1 edge.

Cal Conroy drove in two runs for Cedar Creek (12-14). Brady Menzina led the Cougars with two singles.

CEDAR CREEK SOFTBALL: The No. 6-seeded Lady Cougars learned they’ll travel Thursday to face third-seeded Ascension Christian in the Division IV playoff quarterfinals. Ascension Christian held off rival Ascension Catholic 2-0 Tuesday afternoon.

CHOUDRANT BASEBALL: It wasn’t the normal dominant performance by the Aggies (27-3), but with the state playoffs approaching, posting their 24th consecutive win by a 3-1 margin was a beneficial experience for Tony Antley’s club.

The difference was a two-run bottom of the third after D’Arbonne Woods knotted the game at 1-1 in the top half.

The Aggies got salty pitching in a combined five-hitter by Braden Jones (5 innings, five hits, nine strikeouts) and Brandon Carter (2 innings, no hits, two walks, four strikeouts).

Carter faced the go-ahead run with a pair of runners in scoring position in the final inning, coming up with a strikeout closing out the game.

Leadoff man Landon Hennen had half of Choudrant’s six hits, including a double to start the bottom of the first. Carter owned two RBI, on a sacrifice fly in the first and a fielders’ choice grounder plating Austin Swift, who led off the third with a base hit. Hennen followed with another one and hustled around to score off the fielder’s choice for a two-run lead that stood up.

Swift later doubled in a 2-for-3 evening.

Choudrant will host Simsboro at 6 p.m. Thursday.

SIMSBORO BASEBALL: After a three-run third inning got them back in the game, the Tigers went toe-to-toe with North Caddo before the visitors erupted for seven in the top of the sixth to notch a 14-3 non-district victory.

Trailing 7-0 going to the bottom of the third, Simsboro plated three runs, the last on an RBI single by Hunter Stevens after an error and passed ball scored the first two. That base hit was one of only two by the Tigers (3-20), while the Titans piled up 12.

• Ruston HS track & field, District 2-5A Championships, ULM, field events 3:30 p.m., 4×800 relay 3:45 p.m., running 5:15 p.m.
• Choudrant HS softball, at Stanley, 5 p.m. (Class B regional round playoff)
• Ruston HS baseball, at Ouachita Parish, 6 p.m.

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