Bulldogs rally by Country Day to advance to Class 1A quarterfinals on Charleville’s walk off double

Peter Silas Pasqua
Ascension Catholic’s Taylor Marcello steals home as the pitch gets away from Country Day catcher Dustin Davidson while Tyler Kliebert bats in the sixth inning of the Bulldogs’ 5-4 Class 1A regional playoff victory Tuesday evening.

DONALDSONVILLE - Ascension Catholic rallied from three-run deficit to defeat Metairie Park Country Day 5-4 on Scott Charleville’s walk off double in the bottom of the seventh inning for a Class 1A regional playoff victory Tuesday evening at the South Louisiana Fairgrounds’ LaLa Regira Field.

“It was a great game and a big win,” Ascension Catholic head coach Todd Landry said. “Early in the game, we had some opportunites that we didn’t capitalize but credit to our kids. They never quit and eventually got the big hits. That is the way our team is. They are scrappy and play hard. (Country Day) has  a great team but I am so proud of our kids for finding a way to come back and win it.”

No. 8 seed Ascension Catholic (20-10) advances to the Class 1A quarterfinals for the second consecutive season and will face No. 1 seed Northlake Christian Saturday. No. 9 seed Country Day ends the sesaon with an overall record of 19-6.

“I was really proud of our guys putting those runs up and getting a cushion early,” Country Day head coach Mike McGuire said. “Our game is to keep the pressure on people and we made a few mistakes but you have to give them credit because they put the ball in play and came up with a couple of big hits in clutch situations. We played a hard fought game but came up short.”

Charles Caballero (8-6) picked up win on the hill surrendering four runs on five hits and two walks while striking out 11 over seven innings.

“Both pitchers threw really well,” Landry said. “Charles is a bulldog. He left a couple of pitches up and credit them. They hit him hard but he still only gave up five hits. There is no quit in the kid. He just kept battling.”

Hunter Ham took the loss surrendering five runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out five over six 2/3 innings.

“We had enough pitching and offense but we made mistakes, they got momentum and we kind of fell apart,” said. “(Caballero) is tough and real stengy.”

Taylor Marcello stole home in the bottom of the sixth to knot it up 4-4 as the Bulldogs picked up three runs in the inning. Caballero beat out a grounder to second with one out before Brandon Burns lined to right and Charleville beat out a grounder to short to load the bases. Marcello’s fielder’s choice to third plated a run and an errant throw back advanced runners. A pass ball scored another run before Ham hit Tre` Daze and Marcello slided safely into home as the pitch got away from catcher Dustin Davidson.

“The pitcher was in the windup and he had a slow motion to home plate,” Landry said. “I noticed that the pitch before and Taylor Marcello was begging me. It was just the right time and we got fortunate. That is a big gamble but it worked.”

Caballero retired the Cajuns in order to open the seventh as centerfielder Taylor Cavalier robbed Jordan McGuire with a diving catch in the left gap.

Ham walked Jesse Pizzolato to open the bottom half before Ross Noel’s fielder’s choice. Jordan Landry then doubled off the left wall and Caballero drew a walk to load the bases. Burns’ grounder was forced at home for the second out before Charleville’s double to the right gap ended the game.

McGuire tripled to open the contest but was left stranded as Caballero retired the next three batters fanning two. Pizzolato singled with one out in the bottom half but was left stranded.

Jake Weinstock singled to open the second inning and Caffrey Jackson’s triple plated a run. A pass ball put Country Day ahead 2-0. Caballero struckout out Jake Lacy to end the inning after walking Billy Harrison and McGuire’s grounder over second.

Tyler Kliebert lined a triple to the right gap in the bottom of the third but was left stranded. Jordan Landry beat out a grounder to short to open the bottom of the fourth and Caballero lined a double through the right infield to put the Bulldogs on the board.

Pizzolato lined to center wtih two outs in the fifth but was left stranded after advancing to third on two pass balls.

Caballero walked Ham with one out in the top of the sixth and Jackson lined a double to the left gap plating a run one out later. Ben Harrison followed with a liner in front of left to put the Cajuns ahead 4-1.

Ascension Catholic’s Charles Caballero picked up the win on the mound surrendering five hits over seven innings while striking out 11.