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|Rebels, Lions gear for battle|
Stephen Newman hit back-to-back triples to help lead the West Monroe Rebels to a 7-1 District 2-5A victory over the Natchitoches Central Chiefs Tuesday.
West Monroe and Central will tangle again today (Thursday) and Saturday to finish the three-game series.
West Monroe is currently leading the district race with a 7-0 record. Ouachita is one game behind with a 6-1 district mark.
The Rebels will face the Ouachita Parish Lions beginning April 8.
The win over Central pushed the Rebels district record to 7-0, including three straight wins over Ruston.
Winning pitcher against Central Tuesday was Colin Browder, who pitched the first four innings, striking out six.
Cory White came on in the fifth and got credit for the save.
Meanwhile, the Rebels won the last game of the Ruston series by a 9-5 margin Saturday.
The Rebels and the Bearcats will meet again twice before the season ends.
Across the river, the Ouachita Lions must tangle with Ruston for a three game series this week before the West Monroe showdown.
The Lions swept a three-game series against Central last week, winning the first game 8-4, coming back and taking the second game 12-2, then squeaking out a one-run game by a 6-5 margin.
The Rebels got behind early Saturday when Ruston got to West Monroe starter Bunk Coronado for five runs on three hits, including two doubles. There were two hit batsmen.
The Rebels answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
The Rebels tied the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the third.
Zach Kirksey hit into a fielder's choice and later scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Caleb Clowers.
The Rebels went ahead to stay in the bottom of the fourth. D. J. Banks led off the inning with a double and scored on Brodnax's single.
Newman hit a triple which scored Brodnax, giving the Rebels a 6-5 advantage they never relinquished as Bunk Coronado shut the door on the Bearcats.
Brodnax was 4-for-4 including the home run and a double.
Coronado was the starter and winning pitcher.
"We played pretty well Saturday," said West Monroe coach Mark Sims. "Anytime we get a complete game out of anyone we're real pleased. Central has a pitcher who is hard to beat once he gets on the mound."