East St. Charles edges Lafourche

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 1998

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / July 1, 1998

DESTREHAN -If East St. Charles Post 366/195’s game against CentralLafourche Post 83-349 was a heavyweight fight, it would have been well worth paying the price for a ring-side seat.

The teams traded punches throughout the game with East St. Charlesfinally delivering the knockout blow as Jason Pick drove in Roberto Martinez from third in the bottom of the eighth for a 12-11 victory.

East St. Charles improved to 9-9 overall with the non-district victory.”We traded blows throughout,” East St. Charles coach Mark Willoughby said.”They consistently put the ball in play. Both teams batted great. It was agood game. The difference was that they made five errors and we madetwo.”East St. Charles’ Jeremy Ledet went the distance in his longest outing ofthe season in improving to 3-0 in Legion play. Ledet scattered 11 hitswhile walking two and striking out three.

Willoughby said it was important for Ledet to pitch as long as he could to get the experience and because the team was scheduled to play five games in four days this weekend.

“He kept his composure,” Willoughby said. “He fought out of some toughspots and got us the outs we needed.”With the score tied heading into the bottom of the eighth, Martinez led off with a single to left and advanced to second as the ball got past leftfielder Lee Walker. Nathan Maggiore sacrificed Martinez to third, andPick followed with a line drive just inside the third base bag to plate the winning run.

Central Lafourche had opportunities to go ahead in both the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, John Toups led off with a single and stolesecond and third. With one out, Mike Lambert grounded to third where MikeBierman charged the ball and threw home to get Toups at the plate.

Lambert was then caught stealing to end the inning.

In the eighth, Cory Grabert reached on an error and Barry Plaisance was hit by a pitch with one out. Ledet got out of the inning by getting Walker toground into a force out at second and Brooks Luke to ground out to Bierman.

East St. Charles had an earlier opportunity to break the deadlock in thesixth. Pick led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second by Todd Picou andadvanced to third on Averien Veneralla. Justin St. Pierre then hit a softliner to the third-base side of the mound. Central Lafourche reliever BarryPlaisance dove to his right, stretching completely out to snare the ball before it could fall in and ending the inning.

Central Lafourche had wasted little time in jumping out on top. Plaisancetook Ledet’s first pitch of the game and launched it over the left field wall for a 1-0 lead. Ledet then got a 3-0 count on Walker before comingback to strike him out and retiring five straight batters.

East St. Charles rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the second.Maggiore led off with a walk against Central Lafourche starter Chris Fine and Pick followed with a single to center. After a wild pitch moved therunners up, Maggiore scored on Picou’s ground out to second. Pick wasthrown out at the plate on Veneralla’s grounder back to Fine, but Veneralla would come around to score on a stolen base and two wild pitches to give East St. Charles a 2-1 lead.Central Lafourche came right back in the third. Plaisance opened the inningwith a walk and a steal of second. Walker followed with a single down thefirst base line to tie the score. After Walker stole second, Fine hit a 2-1pitch over the right field fence to give Central Lafourche a 4-2 advantage.

Back came East St. Charles in the bottom of the inning. Bierman led offwith a single to left and Martinez reached on an error. After Maggioresacrificed the runners over, Bierman came in to score as Toby Lirette bobbled Pick’s grounder at third. Picou followed with a single to center toscore Martinez and Pick came in as well as catcher Brent Douglas’ throw to third went into left field. Picou would be thrown out at third by Walkertrying to score on the play.

Central Lafourche regained the lead in the top of the fourth. Mark Loupeopened the inning with a single to center and Douglas followed by getting hit by a pitch. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, Loupe came in toscore on Nick Grabert’s single to left. One out later, Plaisance hit hissecond round-tripper of the game, a line drive over the left field wall to give Central Lafourche an 8-5 lead.

East St. Charles tied the score in the bottom half of the frame againstreliever Cory Grabert. Perrier led off with a walk, went to second on awild pitch and advanced to third as Craig Naquin reached on a wild pitch on a strike out. Bierman followed with a single to left to score Perrier. AfterBierman went to second as Naquin was being picked off the bag, he went to third on a wild pitch as Martinez drew a walk. A wild pitch scored Biermanand sent Martinez to third. Maggiore then walked and with Pick at theplate, broke for second to draw a throw as Martinez stole home.

Central Lafourche went ahead for the last time in the top of the fifth on Toups’ one-out home run to right. East St. Charles came back in the bottomof the inning with St. Pierre leading off with a walk and a steal of second.One out later, Naquin singled to center with St. Pierre advancing to third.The two then executed a double steal with St. Pierre scoring the tying run.Bierman followed with a single to right, his fourth straight hit of the game, to put runners at the corners. Naquin scored on a wild pitch andBierman came around as catcher Mike Labat threw past third, giving East St. Charles a 11-9 lead.Cory Grabert opened the sixth by drawing a walk and Lucas Guidrez followed by reaching on an error and advancing to second on a wild pitch. Aground out by Walker and a single by Luke tied the score at 11.

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