Just like last year's state semifinal game in Sulphur, Ascension Catholic jumped out to a big early lead on Wednesday, but this time, they were able to hold it.

Just like last year’s state semifinal game in Sulphur, Ascension Catholic jumped out to a big early lead on Wednesday, but this time, they were able to hold it.

The Bulldogs scored eight runs in the first two innings against second-second Ouachita Christian to race out in front 8-1.

The Eagles fought back furiously to cut the deficit to 8-7 in the fifth, but an RBI by Brock Acosta in the sixth equipped with strong pitching down the stretch by Tre’ Medine translated to a 9-7 Ascension Catholic victory.

The win sends the Bulldogs to the state title game for the first time since 1994. That year, Ascension Catholic crushed Chapel Trafton (now Dunham), 11-2, to earn the state crown.

Last season, the Bulldogs jumped on top of Central Catholic, 4-0, in the second, just to see the lead dwindle away. Central Catholic eventually tied the game, and won it in 11 innings.

This time around, the Bulldogs jumped out to a lead so big, they were sure to hold on to it.

The Ascension Catholic bats came out white-hot against Louisiana Tech commit Seth Traweek. They scored three in the first and five in the second.

To start the game, William Dunn led off with a walk and was eventually sent home on a double by Mason Zeringue. Zeringue scored on a double by Rodney Blanchard. A sac grounder by Acosta scored Blanchard.

In the second, an Acosta RBI contributed to another surge that put the Bulldogs ahead 8-1.

Ouachita Christian answered in the second with four runs of their own to get within 8-5. That’s when Medine came in to pitch for the Bulldogs.

The Eagles scored two more in the fifth to get within one run, but the Acosta sac fly in the sixth gave Ascension Catholic a little more breathing room.

Medine then closed out Ouachita Christian in the final two innings to advance his team to the championship.

In the victory, Acosta had three RBIs. Zeringue went 2-4 with two RBIs.

There is a familiar face waiting for the Bulldogs in the title game. Top-seeded St. John is their long-time District 6-1A foe.

The Eagles reached the championship game after winning a 6-5 thriller against Houma Christian in Wednesday evening’s semifinal.

To win their first state title in 24 years, Ascension Catholic will have to exorcise their St. John demons. The Bulldogs have lost their last four games against the Eagles.

This season, they dropped both matchups against St. John. They took a 13-8 loss on the chin in game one and were blanked, 4-0, in the second game.

The Division-IV championship game is scheduled for tomorrow night at 7 p.m.