Spartan loss gives way to four-game losing skid
The East Ascension Spartans began the season as one of the hottest teams in Ascension Parish, winning five of their first six games.
However, after a close loss to Central last week that saw the Spartans blow a 3-0 lead, they have fallen victim to a string of defeats that have forced them to fall back with the rest of the pack.
East Ascension began the season with four straight victories. Three of those wins came in the Stephen Richardson Memorial Tournament.
Their only loss of the weekend was against Hahnville.
The Spartans kept up the strong play and headed into last week with a 9-4 record, looking for win No. 10 on the road against Central.
It was just a few days earlier that East Ascension had come from behind to beat the Wildcats, 7-6, at home in the Jay Patterson Shootout.
There was another comeback on Tuesday night, but unfortunately for the Spartans, this time, it was Central that came roaring back to claim a victory.
Things looked promising for East Ascension early on as they jumped on top of Wildcat ace Ma’Khail Hilliard (LSU commit) in the first inning.
Catcher Jacob Thompson drilled a three-run homer to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead.
However, this advantage didn’t last very long as East Ascension began to break down from the mound.
In the bottom of the second, starting pitcher Blaise Foote ran into serious trouble as his control dwindled.
He walked five Central batters. This resulted in two runs and a pitching change.
In came Reese Hebert. He didn’t walk any batters, but Brant Husser made him pay with his bat. He belted a two-RBI double that gave the Wildcats the lead at 4-3.
Central was able to tack on an insurance run in the fourth.
Quint Guerin led the inning off with a single and eventually made his way to third. Hussar again came through with a huge plate appearance as his RBI single upped the lead to 5-3.
With Hilliard settling in on the mound for the Wildcats, the two-run advantage was all Central needed.
East Ascension had their final opportunity to tie the game or take the lead in the seventh against Wildcat relief pitcher Connor Heyl.
The Spartans were able to load the bases with three walks and only one out.
Though, East Ascension ended up stranding all three base-runners when Thompson struck out and Kagan Wheat hit into a double-play to end the game.
Hilliard surrendered seven total hits, but after his first-inning troubles, he pitched a shutout for the next five frames.
Overall, he struck out 10 Spartans.
From the plate, Thompson led East Ascension with a 1-4 effort that was highlighted by the home run and three RBIs. Hebert went 2-3.
The 5-3 loss to Central gave way to a rough weekend for the Spartans.
They made the long trip to North Louisiana to play in a tournament at West Monroe High School.
East Ascension was only able to finish the tournament with a 1-3 record.
They suffered losses to hosting West Monroe (10-0), Ruston (11-7) and Evangel Christian (7-3), before leaving the event with a 2-1 victory over Haughton.
Ever since they began the season at 8-3, the Spartans have now gone just 2-6. Their overall record stands at 10-9.
East Ascension will try to bounce back this week as they host 3A power Brusly on Wednesday. They host Lutcher on Friday night.