Warriors nip Plainview in extra innings
GLENMORA – The Northside Christian Warriors had one of their worst outings of the season and District 7-C foe Plainview nearly capitalized on it.
The host Hornets took advantage of 13 walks and four Northside errors to twice rally from deficits and force extra innings Thursday afternoon.
Fortunately for Northside, the Warriors were able to withstand the storm and Shea Bertrand’s RBI single in the 10th inning lifted the Acadia Parish team to a surprisingly difficult 11-10 victory.
“I think we kind of went in and overlooked them,” said NCS coach Lane Marceaux of Plainview, who his team had defeated 14-1 at Miller Stadium two weeks earlier. “We were kind of figuring we were going there to get in a little batting practice and the next thing you know, we fighting to try and win the game.
“We just weren’t as focused as we should have been and it almost cost us.”
Northside’s main struggle was on the mound. Thanks in part to the 13 walks, eight runners crossed the plate.
The Warriors also committed four errors on the night that led to three unearned runs.
“You know, we preach and we preach that walks kill you,” said Marceaux, who used five pitchers in the game. “Walks win and lose games. We just weren’t throwing strikes as much as I would have liked.
“We tried to mix it up a little bit and stretch our pitchers out and we had trouble finding the (strike zone).”
The Warriors went into the bottom of the seventh with a 10-7 lead, but three straight one-out walks forced Marceaux to turn to ace Joseph Trahan, who had thrown 75 pitches on Tuesday in a victory over ACS.
Trahan, who had not warmed up between innings, started out shaky and walked the first batter he faced. It appeared he would get out of the jam with a grounder back to the mound. He fired to the plate for the first out, but the throw from catcher Nick Zaunbrecher to first base to complete the possible game-ending double play was mishandled, allowing the tying run to score.
Trahan settled in after that and allowed just one hit and struck out six in the final three innings.
“Joe came in there and did a great job considering he didn’t really warm up before that,” said Marceaux. “He came in there on a very cold night and did a great job to keep us in it.”
Dillon King, who had an RBI triple in the second inning, started the rally in the 10th inning when he drew a leadoff walk. Christian Nugent stepped to the plate in a pinch hit role and hit a grounder to third base that was misplayed, allowing King to advance to second. Then, with two outs, Bertrand came through with the big hit, his second of the night.
“Christian (Nugent) came up with a big at-bat for us and kind of gave us a spark off the bench,” said Marceaux. “And Shea usually comes across. He’s a good clutch hitter and he came through again.”
Trace Lemaire started the game on the mound for the Warriors and gave up three runs in three innings despite not giving up a hit. The eighth grader struck out one and walked five.
Nick Martin took over in the third and gave up two runs on four hits and three walks before giving way to Christian Morgan in the middle of the sixth. Morgan allowed two runs on two walks. Jordan Monte took the mound with one out in the seventh and walked the only batter he faced.
Austin James had two hits and one RBI for the Hornets while Tyler Thomas and Josh Ash each had one hit and two RBI. Kristofer Miller added one hit and an RBI and Bradley Thomas had a single.
Bertrand paced the Warriors’ offense with two hits and two RBI. Lemaire had a hit and two RBI; Christian Morgan and Dillon King each had one hit and one RBI; Martin had a single and Zaunbrecher recorded an RBI on a sacrifice fly.