SMC falls in title game
By GEOFFREY STOUTE
St. Mary Central’s early mistakes coupled with Franklin’s hitting were too much for the east St. Mary squad to overcome in its 11-6 defeat in the District 3, 12-year-old championship at Complex Park on Tuesday.
Franklin jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead after three innings, with two of those runs scoring via St. Mary errors and three more on wild pitches.
With St. Mary Central on the verge of being run-ruled after Franklin added two more runs in the top of the fourth via an RBI-single and an RBI-groundout, St. Mary rallied for five combined runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
It wasn’t enough, though, as the locals could not over-come their mistakes.
As for the pitching errors, SMC coach Carter Askew explained that he was trying to work back in a few pitchers who were injured when All-Stars were selected.
One of those was Tuesday night’s starter Gregory Leger Jr., who suffered the loss after he surrendered four runs on one hit with three walks in an inning of work.
St. Mary used four pitchers in the loss with the last, Adam Askew, being the most effective. In 2 2/3 innings, he surrendered a run on two hits and struck out two.
“I’m very proud of the kids for what they’ve done,” Askew said. “They competed well, and we actually have a really good team.”
While St. Mary struggled on the mound, Franklin starter Noah Judice was effective against St. Mary batters until the fifth inning when St. Mary inched closer with three runs. In 4 1/3 innings, he surrendered six runs on three hits with six walks and six strikeouts.
“Their guy threw a really good game,” Askew said. “(He’s a) really good lefty.”
Despite plating six runs, St. Mary was limited to four hits. Andrew Askew had three of those hits as he finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Reid Wiley had St. Mary’s other hit on a 1-for-3 performance with two runs.
Conversely, Franklin pounded out nine hits, led by Brock Broussard’s 3-for-4 performance with a double, an RBI and two runs. Kade Daigle was 2-for-3 with two RBIs; and Chase Mensman was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Mason Mendoza added a 1-for-2 outing with an RBI and a run.
While both teams played for the district championship on Tuesday, both teams were headed to the next round of the postseason regardless of outcome. Tuesday’s championship determined where both were going.
As district champion, Franklin will travel to the South Regional Tournament in Ponchatoula where it will begin postseason play on Friday at 1 p.m. against Franklinton American, District 6 champion.
St. Mary Central will trav-el to the North Regional Tournament in Alexandria where it also will begin play Friday against Monroe American, District 5 champion, at 6:30 p.m.