Bulldogs' season ends in extra-inning thriller

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Landon Clifton helped lead Ascension Catholic to its first semifinal game since 2005. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Ascension Catholic was just one big RBI away from punching their ticket to the state title game last night, but they could never get it.

Instead, it was top-seeded Central Catholic that came up with the timely hits in their marathon state semifinal game in Sulphur—a thriller that spanned 11 innings.

In the Bulldogs’ first semifinal game since 2005, they jumped on top, 4-0, in the second inning after Central Catholic starting pitcher Gregory Leger ran into some control problems.

He hit two batters and walked in a run. Senior Nick Bellina came up with a two-RBI single, and relief pitcher Blake Hidalgo walked in another Bulldog.

However, the Eagles answered back in the bottom of the third after beginning the inning with three bunts. They scored two runs to cut the deficit in half.

In the fifth, a Leger RBI double and a Mitchell Lemoine RBI single tied the game.

Ascension Catholic had a prime opportunity to regain the lead in the sixth inning as they loaded the bases, but all three base-runners were stranded.

The game eventually saw five straight scoreless innings, until Lemoine came up with a walkoff RBI single in the bottom of the 11th to win the game for Central Catholic.

They will now play 11th-seeded Ascension Episcopal in the Division IV championship game on Friday night.

Ascension Catholic’s season ends with a 21-13 overall record.

This was the second time in three years, they have had a deep playoff run ended by the Eagles in an extra-innings affair.