For the second time in three days, Catholic High found themselves having to cross St. Amant right-hander Dallis Moran in a tense situation.
This time, the Bears succeeded.
Catholic, who had been limited to one run on four hits by Moran, drilled into the lead in the seventh for seven runs on four hits and held off a late rally for an 8-4 win Saturday in 5-district play. 5A at St. Amant.
Dutchtown (27-2, 6-0) leads the District 5-5A heading into Tuesday’s game at St. Amant.
“It’s a total team effort, a total reveal of their character…their championship character,” Catholic baseball coach Brad Bass said.
St. Amant’s Jacob Meyers went 5-0 in Thursday’s Game 7 shutout at Catholic, who scored twice and threatened to do more when Moran came on as relief for the final two outs, extending the his team’s 17-game winning streak.
The Gators (25-4, 5-1 in 5-5A) took a 2-1 lead in the seventh Saturday thanks to a solid effort from Moran, who hit his 115 shot limit when Catholic tied the game at 2-2 on a field error on the blow of pincher Paul Loup.
The Bears (24-5, 5-1) fought off a total of three pitchers who combined to walk two batters and gave up four hits. Ben Robichaux broke the deadlock with an RBI single; CJ Sturiale was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded; and first baseman Prescott Marsh scored a two-run single.
Catholic, who snapped a 12-game winning streak on Thursday, added points on ground and wild terrain.
“It could have happened to us the other day when we won the game. It’s part of baseball,” St. Amant coach Brandon Bravata said. “Games like this help you for the playoffs. You are going to be in situations like this. We have to handle these situations better in the future.
St. Amant, three of whose four hits came from his 7-8-9 batting streak, scored twice in the bottom of the seventh and brought the tying run home with two outs.
Cole Cranford, the Bears’ fifth pitcher, was only in his fourth inning of the season due to injury. He allowed an RBI single to Connor Molaison, hit a batter and walked three more – including a goal-laden pass – when he induced a fly ball to Sturiale at center to end the game.
“When you get into those gritty 5-5A matchups, that’s what happens,” Bass said. “We were one momentum away from beating them the other day and they were one momentum away from tying the game today. This testifies to the strength of this district and the quality of the teams there.