Power surge propels Notre Dame past West St. Mary

Notre Dame’s Sam Veillon drives a pitch over the left center field wall for a grand slam Monday in the Pios’ 11-1 victory over West St. Mary at Miller Stadium. (Photo by Jason Faul)

CROWLEY – Sam Veillon and Gavin Bourgeois sparked a nine-run fourth inning with a pair of home runs to help lead the Notre Dame Pios to an 11-1 victory over West St. Mary Monday at Miller Stadium.
The Pios improved to 11-13 on the season and 2-2 in District 6-3A play with the victory.
“The fourth inning was when we really separated ourselves,” said ND coach Steve Soper, whose team led just 2-1 entering the frame. “We came out a little slow, which was disappointing, but I guess it’s better late than never.
“I’d like to see us come out of the gates a little quicker but we did hit some balls on the nose that just kind of went right to them. Forcing them to make plays would have been a little bit better but we just had way to many pop ups early in the game.”
The power surge was sparked by Bourgeois’ three-run blast to left field after Kyle Habetz and Jacques Thibodeaux were both hit by pitches with one out.
After Jacob Mooney reached base on an error and Jeff Daigle singled, Joe Faulk plated the fourth run of the inning when he  laced a single to left field. Alex Rozas was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, setting the stage for Veillon.
On the first offering he saw, Veillon drove the ball to deep left center field, clearing the wall for a grand slam.
The Pios added another run when Jacob Mooney was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Wyatt Sullivan, pitching in relief of Chase McBride, closed out the contest in the top of the fifth with a pair of strikeouts and a flyout.
Sullivan was credited with the victory after pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out five.
McBride pitched the first 2 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits and three walks. He struck out three.
“We have a lot of games this week so we’re trying to space it (pitching rotation) out as much as we can and they both did a good job of keeping them off the board and really giving us a chance to win the game,” said Soper of both Sullivan and McBride.
Offensively, the Pios racked up nine hits in the five inning contest that was halted due to the mercy rule.
Veillon logged two hits and drove in four runs while Faulk had a pair of singles and one RBI. Bourgeois followed with a home run and three RBI while Brad Stoma and Mooney each had one hit and one RBI. Thibodeaux and Daigle also had one single each.
The Pios return to action tonight when they play host to the Eunice Bobcats at 6 p.m.
Tonight’s contest is the beginning of a rough five-game stretch that spans into next week.
Soper’s squad will travel to Rayne on Friday for a 6 p.m. contest with the Wolves before turning around and traveling to Baton Rouge Saturday to take on defending Class 3A champion Parkview Baptist at 5:30 p.m. The Pios then take on North Vermilion on Monday and Wednesday of next week.
“We are running the gauntlet the next week and a half,” said Soper. “It’s a good opportunity to face some good, quality opponents and to see where we stack up at this point in the season. We’re definitely going to see what we’re made of.”

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