Spartans fight back to beat Northshore

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Kael Babin scored in the sixth inning to give East Ascension a 5-4 lead. They went on to win, 9-5.

Down 4-2 against Northshore in the sixth inning, East Ascension was looking for a spark, and they got it from one of the most unlikely places.

Dax Powell hadn't had an at-bat for the entire game, but he came in to pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth. He proceeded to crush a leadoff triple against the right-field wall.

That hit ignited the Spartan offense. In that inning alone, East Ascension exploded for seven runs in what become a 9-5 home victory on Friday night.

"That's really been our MO," Spartan head coach Kade Keowen said. "It was the same thing yesterday. We went down 7-1, and we ended up tying the game with Destrehan . That game didn't go our way, but we battled tonight. Their pitchers were throwing really well, but I knew that at some point, things were going to fall for us. We had runners at second and third in multiple innings; we just couldn't get them in. 

"Finally, we got the two-outs hits. Dax Powell comes in and pinch hits and knocks the ball off of the wall. He's a guy that struggled early in the season. I'm really proud of him for taking advantage of that opportunity."

East Ascension took a 1-0 lead in the first. Tanner Hebert doubled, and courtesy runner Sean Harris scored on a Northshore fielding error.

But over the next four innings, the Spartans fell into a 4-1 hole.

In large part, it was due to defensive miscues. Northshore scored two runs on East Ascension errors in the third, and two more Spartan errors added a run to the deficit in the fifth inning.

East Ascension also had trouble driving runs home. In the first five innings, they stranded 10 base-runners.

The Spartans finally scored another run in the fifth. Kael Babin led off with a single, and he eventually scored on a passed ball to trim the deficit to 4-2.

In the sixth, Powell came in as the pinch hitter and drilled a triple. He then scored on an infield single by Eli Lambert. Lambert was then driven home on a base hit by Babin, which tied the game at 4-4.

Babin later scored on a wild pitch to regain the lead for East Ascension.

The Spartans then loaded the bases after Dominick Regira walked, Jacob Falgoust was hit by a pitch and Landon Gautreau singled.

That set up a base-clearing double by Kullen Wheat.

The sixth-inning barrage finally ended with an RBI double by Brock Hebert to give East Ascension a 9-4 lead.

Northshore made things interesting in the seventh. They came up with two hits--one drove a run home. A walk then loaded the bases.

But Chance Mire came in, in relief and rung up a big strikeout to end the game.

For East Ascension, Babin went 2-4 with an RBI, and he scored two runs. Wheat went 1-3 with a walk and three RBIs.

From the mound, Tanner Hebert pitched six and two-thirds innings. In the that time, he gave up eight hits but only one earned run. He struck out seven.

"We went 10 innings last night and had to use five or six pitchers. I challenged Tanner before the game," Keowen said. "I told him that I needed him to go six or seven innings, and he said, 'Yes, sir.' We had to take him out at the end because his pitch-count got up to 114, but I'm super proud of that kid. He's been pitching for us since he was a freshman. He's one of the hardest workers we have, and he goes out and battles every time."