Spartans hold off Greenies in Invite

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Alec Singletary steals second base ahead of the throw to Ponchatoula’s Ethan Murray in the fourth inning of the Spartans’ 5-4 victory Thursday evening in the Gator Invitational.

East Ascension (7-9-1) held off Ponchatoula in the top of the seventh to pull out a 5-4 victory in the opening game of the Gator Invitational at Johnny Ambeau Park Thursday evening.

“We want to win all the them,” East Ascension head coach Wayne Grenfell said. “We needed to taste some success. We did some positive things on offense to be able to taste some success.”

Alec Singletary (1-2) picked up the win striking out nine over six and 2/3 innings while giving up four runs on six hits and four walks.

The victory avenged the Spartans’ Class 5A regional loss to Ponchatoula (8-10) in the playoffs last season.

“Singletary gave us a chance to get that success,” Grenfell said. “That was his fifth good outing so I definitely wanted to see him get a complete game win. He has been saddled with two defeats so it was good to see him finally get a win.”

East Ascension went on to defeat Berwick 12-2 Friday before falling to Fontainebleau 8-1 Saturday morning and rebounding that night for a 7-4 victory over Mandeville.

Dylan Meyers singled with one out in the top of the second and stole second base before Randall Meyers singled one out later but Singletary strikeout Brett Vampren to get out of the inning.

The Spartans tacked on two runs in the bottom half when Levin Fairchild led off with a double and Singletary singled to plate a run. Austin Todd and Ben Robinson reached on errors before another run crossed on a fielder’s choice.

“That is what we have to do,” Grenfell said. “You go back and look at all our wins and we were able to execute in the short game.”

Ethan Murray reached on an error in the third inning and scored to cut it to 2-1.

Ponchatoula threatened in the fourth inning when Kaleb Kraft reached on a one-out error before Randell Meyers lined through the center of the infield but Singletary struckout Jacob Ruiz and forced Murray to groundout.

East Ascension added a run in the bottom half when Singletary drew a lead off walk off starter Elisha Settoon before stealing second after getting caught in a run down. Todd beat out a grounder to short and pinch running Chris Sanchez scored on a throwing error when Todd stole second.

“Early in the game we kind of gave them a couple of runs and made it hard on us,” Ponchatoula head coach Mark Gosnell said. “We did a good job in the last inning of battling back and getting some guys on base but it was too late. We didn’t do a good job defensively early in the game and that came back to get us in the end.”

The Green Wave loaded the bases in the fifth inning when Dylan Hills reached on a grounder to first and Justin Crowell and Dylan Meyers drew walks but Kraft popped up to end the inning.

The Spartans picked up two runs in the bottom half. Adam Trahan drew a lead off walk and Marcus Bailey lined a double off the left wall before a run scored on a pass ball. Fairchild’s sacrifice bunt plated another run one out later to put East Ascension ahead 5-1.

Hills drew a lead off walk off Singletary in the top of the seventh before Settoon reached on an error. Crowell lined a double pass second to plate two runs. Two outs later Kraft lined a double to the left gap to plate another run. Reliever Bradly Day then forced Randall Meyers into a groundout to shortstop Bailey.

“Bradly Day came in and the experienced pitcher that he is, finished the deal for us,” Grenfell said. “We had a pitcher that was senior throwing to a catcher that was senior, hit it to a shortstop that is a senior, who threw it to first base, who is a senior. If we can’t succeed in that scenario we never will. It was good to see those guys succeed in that area.”

Logan Fife (1-2) picked up the win over Berwick striking out six over five innings while giving up two runs on five hits and two walks. Troy Gautreau was 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBI, while Kleinpeter was 2 for 3 with two RBI and Bailey was 2 for 3 with a double. Todd Skelton took the loss for Berwick.

Ethan Guidry (2-4) took the loss to Fontainebleau giving up four hits in one and 2/3 innings while striking out two. David Acosta got the win lasting seven innings. Trahan was 2 for 3.

Day (1-0) picked up the win against Mandeville striking out seven over three and 2/3 innings. Austen Waguespack was 2 for 3 with a double and three RBIs while Gautreau was 2 for 2 with one RBI. Lee Batchelor took the loss giving up seven runs on nine hits and four walks over six innings.

East Ascension's Bradly Day lays down a bunt.