Bears slide by Spartans in district clash

Kyle Riviere
A Bear base-runner slides safely to first as East Ascension's Gage Bourgeois tries to tag him out. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

For five innings, East Ascension looked like the better team against Catholic in their district home opener Wednesday night.

Unfortunately for the Spartans, the third and fourth innings belonged to the Bears. With East Ascension pitchers struggling to throw strikes and with a three-run homer by Brennan Lambert, Catholic went up 8-0.

East Ascension furiously fought back, getting as close as 8-6, but a two-run blast by Patrick Crifasi in the seventh iced away a 10-6 victory for the Bears.

"It was the same things that have been hurting us all year. We struggled to find the strike zone a little bit, and we gave them a few free passes," Spartan head coach Britt Waguespack said. "Teams like Catholic, you give them free passes, they're gonna capitalize. I think they're one of the best hitting teams in the state."

The game was scoreless heading to the third inning. There, Catholic collected three hits and two walks that put them ahead 3-0.

In the fourth, two Bear singles and two hit batters equated to another run. A sac fly by Cole Johnson put them up 5-0.

That's when Lambert pummeled a homer over the centerfield wall to make it 8-0.

Even down by a seemingly insurmountable deficit, the Spartans kept fighting.

Reese Hebert led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple and was sent home on an RBI single by Joseph Stevens.

In the fifth, Ryan Williams and Cameron Schexnaildre walked, and Williams came home after a Catholic throwing error.

Preston Thrash sent a run home on a triple, and another Spartan runner scored on a Catholic throwing error to cut it to 8-4.

In the sixth, East Ascension inched closer.

Another Bear throwing error put Gage Bourgeois on leadoff, and Williams joined him on base after a double. Schexnaildre sent both home on a two-RBI single.

But with their lead cut down to 8-6, Catholic put the game away in the seventh as Jordan Werner collected a two-outs single and Crifasi jacked a two-run homer over the scoreboard.

Catholic had eight hits and eight walks against East Ascension pitching.

From the plate, no Spartan was able to register multiple hits. Schexnaildre led the way as he went 1-2 with two RBIs and a walk.

It was back-to-back losses to Catholic for the Spartans. The night before, they fell to the Bears on the road in the district opener, 8-5.

The tough district schedule will continue for East Ascension as they play St. Amant on Saturday and again on Tuesday.