Bulldogs stun Blue Jays
By Tom Dodge
It wasn’t the way the St. Edmund Blue Jays wanted the baseball season to end.
No. 12 Ascension Catholic exploded for five runs in the top of the sixth inning and stunned the fifth-seeded Blue Jays 6-3 in the regional round of the Class 1-A state playoffs.
“This is a special group of kids,” St. Ed head coach Tre Brown said after the loss.
“We were a force in 1-A this year and not many people had the depth on the mound, in the field and at the plate.”
Brown said the emotions at the beginning of the game could not last the entire seven innings and that proved to be the difference against the Bulldogs.
“You can’t play baseball as a high energy game,” Brown said. “It will take you right out of the game. They rode the high energy and that is hard to do in a complete baseball game, especially against a good team with a good pitcher.”
The Blue Jays jumped to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Wesley Richard tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Quinn Arnaud.
Ascension Catholic tied the game 1-1 in the top of the second when Brandon Burns singled and scored on a Blue- Jay error.
St. Eds forged ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the second when Tyler Rodriguez singled and scored on a Bulldog error.
The Blue Jays pushed ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the third when Jeff Fontenot singled and scored on a single to left field by Trevor Hargroder.
Ascension Catholic’s sixth inning surge began when Ross Noel doubled and Charles Caballero walked off starter Mac Manuel.
Two batters later, Burns singled in Noel and Scott Charleville drove in Caballero to tie the game and force Manuel off the mound.
Richard moved from shortstop to the hill and walked C.J. Caballero to load the bases.
Jordan Landry then ripped a single to plate Burns and Charleville as the Bulldogs jumped ahead 5-3.
Ascension Catholic batted through the line-up in the inning capped off when Jessie Pizzolato hit a sacrifice to score C.J. Caballero for a 6-3 advantage before Richard forced Taylor Marcello to ground out to short to end the inning.
After rapping out three runs on five hits in the first three innings, the Blue Jays were limited to just three hits over the final four frames.
“The lack of timely hitting was big,” Brown said of the later innings.
“I thought we could have swung the bat better.”
Jeff Fontenot led St. Eds with a 2-for-3 performance, while six other Blue Jays recorded just one hit.
Manuel suffered the loss as he allowed six hits with six strikeouts, one walk and one hitbatsman.
Charles Caballero earned the win for the Bulldogs as he fanned five and allowed eight hits and one hitbatsman.
“It was a spectacular group to coach as far as coachability and energy“ Brown said of the five seniors. “You just can’t say enough about them.”