Central Catholic eases past Houma Christian
By GEOFF STOUTE
AMELIA — Central Catholic jumped out to a 4-0 first-inning lead, except for surrendering two runs in the sixth inning, didn’t have much trouble with Houma Christian in an 8-2 win in Class 1A bi-district action Thursday.
After the first-inning outburst, the Eagles scored another run in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth to take an 8-0 lead.
Houma Christian scored its two runs in the sixth inning.
Houma Christian coach Chuck Battaglia, whose squad had a runner at second in the top of the first inning but couldn’t bring him around to score, said the deficit was tough to come back from on the road against a good team.
“Central Catholic did a great job of capitalizing early and putting the pressure on us and they did what they were supposed to do early … I’m definetly proud of our kids,” Battaglia said. “They’re young this year. They could of dropped down. It was one of those games, we had a lot of hard hit balls and just didn’t find the holes for us today, and we’ll just have to build on it in the future.”
Central Catholic coach Tyler Jensen said he like the way his squad played the first five innings but was disappointed in the sixth.
“I thought the sixth inning was very disappointing as far as I thought we lost focus,” Jensen said.
He said that his team needs to take the opportunity, when presented, to end a game.
Earlier in the contest in the first inning, Central Catholic was aggressive on the basepaths, including one play when Luke Landry took home on a pickoff attempt to first base.
“That’s one thing we pride ourselves on,” Jensen said. “We work on a lot of base running things everyday in practice. We’re an aggressive team.”
Bryson Barbier earned the complete-game victory as he surrendered two runs on four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts.
At the plate, he finished 1-for-4 with a double.
Other top hitters for the Eagles included Luke Landry, 2-for-3, two doubles, a run, an RBI and two stolen bases, while Nick Case finished 1-for-3 with a home run, an RBI and a run. Barron Courtney finished 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a stolen base and a run, while Dominick Guarisco had a 1-for-4 performance with an RBI.
The Central Catholic defense, in particular third baseman Nick Case and first baseman Barron Courtney, made several nice plays in the contest.
“Defensively, that’s been our strength … In the past 12, 15 games or so, it’s been our strength, and we have some guys that are very talented defensively … The plays we make on defense really don’t surprise me,” Jensen said. “Bryson has a lot of confidence on the mound in those guys. He knows that (if) he falls behind in the count, he can be aggressive and we’re going to make a play for him. ”
Connor Bates took the loss for Houma Christian. In 3.2 innings, he surrendered seven runs — six earned — on five hits with three strikeouts, six walks and two hit batters.
At the plate, Drake Battaglia finished 2-for-3 with a run, while Connor Bates was 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Central Catholic will return to action next week when it plays the winner of No. 12 St. Martin’s Episcopal and No. 21 LaSalle. That game is being played today in the New Orleans area.