FRANKLIN — Central Catholic scored three runs with the aid of an error and a two-out single, then escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning to hold off Loreauville 3-2 on a bitterly cold opening night for the 10th annual Hanson Memorial Baseball Invitational tournament Thursday at Amar Lancon Field.
Loreauville made a few mistakes on the basepaths that helped stifle rallies, LHS coach Rob Segura noted. The Tigers left runners in scoring position in the first, third and sixth innings and had a runner picked off first in the second.
“I thought we made a few baserunning errors at critical times, and that doesn’t help,” Segura said. “In a one-run ballgame, that’s the difference.”
The three runs in the top of the third inning were the only ones given up by LHS starting pitcher Malik Washington, who struck out seven and surrendered only three hits and four walks in throwing a complete game.
But one of those walks and two of the hits were in the third inning, and that was enough to hand Washington the loss. Greg Leger opened the inning with a base on balls, then went to second on a sacrifice bunt. An error allowed Tony Pennison to reach first on the bunt before a fielder’s choice grounder back to the mound resulted in an out at second. Charlie Barron singled to right for an RBI and Samuel Guarisco grounded out to second before Barron Courtney’s base knock to right field brought in two more runs for a 3-1 CCHS lead. A fly ball ended the frame.
Courtney was 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Matthew Barbier went 1-for-2 and Barron was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Loreauville had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Matt Lissard walked, advanced on an error and a fielder’s choice and came home on Washington’s single to center field. The Tigers left a pair of runners stranded in the inning.
LHS pulled to within 3-2 in the fourth on Cameron Broussard’s sacrifice fly RBI after Nick Hebert had walked to lead off the bottom of the inning and moved to second on a single to right field by Ben Galatas.
The Tigers threatened again in the bottom of the sixth. Scott Hebert drew a walk after fouling off three two-strike pitches to open the inning, but was thrown out at third on a fielder’s choice when Max Dugas grounded back to the mound with one out. Galatas followed with a single to the right side and Broussard walked to load the bases but was called out on a close play at second on a grounder to shortstop that was bobbled by Bryson Barbier before the throw to the bag.
Washington went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Galatas was 2-for-3 to pace the Tigers at the plate. Scott Segura, Cameron Lanclos and Broussard also had hits, but all of Loreauville’s hits were singles.
“We got a few hits, just not at the right time,” Rob Segura said. “A couple of extra-base hits would help. We’ll be all right.”
Washington and the LHS defense, meanwhile, were doing their part to keep the score close.
Runners advanced to scoring position in four of the seven innings against the LHS righty but he got a grounder to Galatas at third base to end the first inning, a strikeout to end the fourth and a nice throw from shortstop Nick Hebert deep in the hole to end the fifth.
Washington had two 1-2-3 innings, including a three-strikeout second inning. He seemed to get stronger as the game progressed, getting out nine of the final 10 batters he faced and 12 of the final 14, including eight straight over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings before a two-out walk in the seventh ended the streak.
“He’s been throwing well, real well,” Segura said. “He continues to get better and better each outing. He wants it. He wants the ball.”
Samuel Guarisco earned the win, going seven innings and allowing two runs on seven hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
In the earlier game, Patterson outlasted Highland Baptist 13-6.
In tournament games today, Patterson plays Delcambre at 3:30 p.m., Highland plays Houma Christian at 5:30 and Hanson plays Loreauville at 7:30 at Amar Lancon Field. Livonia plays Central Catholic at 6 p.m. at Acadian Ballpark.
In Saturday games, all at HMS, Highland plays Delcambre at 9 a.m., Livonia plays Loreauville at 11 a.m., Rayne plays Patterson at 1 p.m., Hanson faces Livonia at 3 p.m., Rayne takes on Central Catholic at 5 p.m. and Hanson plays Houma Christian at 7 p.m.