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ESJ MOVES CLOSER TO PLAYOFF SPOT WITH 11-3 VICTORY

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / April 27, 1998

BOUTTE – The East St. John Wildcats must have felt a sense of deja vu Tuesday in their game at Hahnville.

During the football season, Destrehan defeated East St. John, 63-14, butthe Wildcats were able to shake off the loss the following week to defeat Hahnville.

Tuesday, East St. John was coming off a heartbreaking 9-8 loss toDestrehan at home on Saturday. But the Wildcats, many of whom hadplayed on the football team, made the similarities complete by defeating Hahnville, 11-3, to move into second place by themselves in District 6-5A.

East St. John improved to 12-13 on the season and 7-5 in district play.The Wildcats, who defeated Central Lafourche, 22-9, Thursday, can clinch second place today with a victory at home gainst Thibodaux.

Hahnville fell to6-6 in district and is 12-7 overall.

Any questions about how the Wildcats would play after Saturday’s loss were quickly answered in the first inning. Roydell Williams led off thegame with a walk against Hahnville starter Brian Risinger, stole second and scored as Jeremy Mitchell bounced a single up the middle.

After Kerry Watkins popped up to first, Samson Monica lined a single to right, sending Mitchell to third. Jerome Anderson followed with a groundout to second to score Mitchell and give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.

The Tigers answered in the bottom of the inning as Mike Roger drew a walk from Monica and stole second. After Brandon Kelly popped up toWatkins in foul territory, Kade Rogers hit a grounder between third and short. Anderson dove for the ball, made the stop, but his throw to firstwent into the dirt as Roger came around to score. Monica got out of furthertrouble by getting Tommy Theriot and Dewey Matherne to hit pop ups in the infield.

The Wildcats got that run back in the third as Watkins singled to left, stole second and scored on a single to left by Brandon Mason.

East St. John would stretch its lead to 5-1 in the fourth as Kent Rousselllined a double off the left-center field wall and went to third on a passed ball. A strong throw by Rogers kept Roussell from scoring on RandySutherland’s fly ball to left, but Williams got the run in by beating out a grounder to third.

After Mitchell singled to right, an errant pick-off throw to first allowed both runners to move into scoring position. Monica then brought inWilliams by beating out a grounder to short.

East St. John broke the game open in the fifth. Mason opened the inning bylining a shot off the top of the right field wall for a triple. James Brockfollowed with a walk and stole second. After Roussell flied out to center,Sutherland hit a chopper in front of the plate with courtesy runner Billy Williams beating Risinger’s throw home.

Roydell Williams lined a single to right to score Brock before Matherne came in to relieve Risinger. Mitchell followed by laying down a bunt,beating the throw to first as Sutherland scored. After Watkins reached onan error, Monica lofted a fly ball to right to score Williams, increasing the Wildcats’ lead to 9-1.

Hahnville battled back in the bottom of the inning on a walk by Roger and singles by Kelly, Theriot and Matherne to cut the deficit to 9-3. The Tigersthreatened again in the sixth, as Erik Donnaud walked, Chris Toups singled and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch with one out. But Monicagot out of the jam by getting Roger to fly out and striking out Kelly.

East St. John increased its lead back to 11-3 in the seventh on Mitchell’sfourth hit of the game, a walk by Watkins and an error on Kelly.

Monica went the distance to improve to 6-4 on the season, allowing five hits while striking out eight and walking five. Risinger took the loss tofall to 5-4 on the season.

East St. John coach David Guillot said the team played the game with theirbacks to the wall, knowing their playoff hopes would probably end if they lost the game. But Guillot said the Wildcats are used to battling frombehind.

“I told them when they come out and start having fun, they will come out and play well,” Guillot said. “We have lost close games all year long. Wehave lost to a lot of good teams by one run. It tends to help out in the end.The players know can fight back and win the close games.

“We have been fighting back all year long and coming from behind. It hashelped us with the younger kids maturing. They are playing like veteransnow rather than like freshman and I am proud of them.”

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