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KNIGHTS USE 17-RUN INNING TO DEFEAT COMETS

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / April 16, 1998

LAPLACE – It is often said in baseball that hitting is contagious. Episcopalof Baton Rouge definitely caught the bug in the fourth inning against St. Charles Catholic Saturday afternoon, sending 21 batters to the plate and scoring 17 runs on its way to a 25-14 victory at Comet Field.

Seventeen straight Episcopal batters reached base and scored against three St. Charles Catholic pitchers in the outburst. The inning included 13hits, four walks, four Comets’ errors and a fielder’s interference call.

Episcopal catcher Clark McLellan and third baseman Andrew Sexton each collected three hits in the frame.

The non-district victory improved the Knights’ record to 15-5 on the season. Episcopal has already clinched the District 7-2A title with a 7-0record. St. Charles Catholic fell to 13-7 on the season.The Knights trailed 9-8 heading into the fourth when McLellan led off the inning with a double to left field off Nick Monica, the Comets’ third pitcher of the game. Wayne Stein came in to relieve Monica and gave up adouble to Sexton to tie the game.

Everett White followed with a sharp grounder that got past shortstop Courtney Bonura and Sam James walked to load the bases. Stein thenwalked Wendell York, Stephen Kirkpatrick and Todd Clegg in succession, driving in three runs, before being relieved by Matt Weber.

Prentiss Cutshaw greeted Weber with a single to left field, driving in York and courtesy runner Austin Bristow. Singles by Jacob Kantrow, McLellanand Sexton followed, driving in three more runs to give the Knights a 17-9 lead. White then cleared the bases with a home run off the scoreboard inleft field, giving Episcopal an 11-run cushion.

The outburst continued as James and York singled. York’s ball got pastBrian Horvath in right field, allowing James to score. York tried toadvance to third on the throw to the plate and was thrown out by Jason Gonzales, but Bonura was ruled to have interfered with the runner.

Kirkpatrick then brought York in with a single to right.

Clegg reached as Weber fielded his grounder and threw past first. Cutshawthen brought in Bristow and Clegg with a double down the third base line.

Jason LaPorte came in to pitch and finally got the first out of the inning by getting Kantrow to ground out to Bonura.

McLellan doubled to score Cutshaw and make the score 25-9, and Sexton singled before LaPorte got White to hit into a double play to end the inning.

St. Charles Catholic rallied for four runs in the bottom of the inning on aground out by Gonzales, a two-run home run by Bonura and a single by Steven Faucheux. Stein added a run-scoring ground out in the fifth beforethe game was called due to the 10-run rule.

The Comets had rallied from deficits of 5-0 and 7-3 to take the lead in the bottom of the second. Monica led off with a walk and was forced out byClement one out later. Horvath kept the inning alive by reaching on anerror by Kantrow at second base and Jarrett Maurin followed with a double down the left field line to score Clement.

After John Price walked, Stein hit a grounder to first base that bounced off Ken Cooper’s glove into short right field. Horvath and Maurin scored tocut the deficit to 7-6.

Gonzales followed by beating out a grounder to short, scoring Price with the tying run. Bonura then lofted a fly ball to right that Cutshaw hadbounce out of his glove, allowing Stein and Gonzales to score and giving the Comets a 9-7 lead.

Episcopal got a run back in the top of the third on a home run by Clegg to right field.

The Knights jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first on a RBI ground out by McLellan and a grand slam to right by York off Price, the Comets’ starting pitcher. St. Charles Catholic rallied in the bottom of theinning on a home run to straight-away center by Maurin.

Price followed with a double to left, and after advancing to third on a balk on Kirkpatrick, scored as Stein reached on an error by York. Stein advancedto third as Kirkpatrick’s pick-off attempt went into right field and scored on a fly ball to center by Gonzales.

Episcopal answered in the top of the second on a two-run home run by Sexton off Monica.

Monica took the loss while Kirkpatrick went the distance to improve his record to 4-2 on the season.

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