Wildcats, Rebels battle to 9-all tie

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 13, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / March 13, 1999

RESERVE – Riverside overcame a grand slam by Roydell Williams and a 9-1 deficit with eight runs over the fifth and sixth innings to force a 9-all tie with East St. John Tuesday afternoon.The game was called with one out in the bottom of the seventh due to darkness.

Riverside’s record went to 7-1-1 overall while East St. John’s went to 3-6-1.

Both teams threatened in the top of the first but were thwarted by clutch defensive plays. Keith LeBlanc led off the game for the Rebels with a walkoff East St. John starter Jeremy Mitchell and Brandon Delaneuvillefollowed with a single to left.

After Mitchell struck out Dustin Zimmer, Joey Poirrier singled to left.

Left fielder Randy Sutherland fielded the ball and threw a one-hop strike to the plate to get LeBlanc. Mitchell then got out of the inning by gettingSean Delaneuville to hit into a force out at second.

East St. John also threatened in the first as Brandon Mason led off with aninfield single and Mitchell walked against Riverside starter Casey Duhe.

Kent Roussell followed with a liner that Zimmer snared at short and flipped to second to double up Mason.

Riverside broke through with two outs in the top of third. Zimmer doubledto left field and Poirrier singled past shortstop to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.

The Wildcats quickly answered in the bottom of the inning. Tie Reeseopened the inning by dropping a single into left field. Terron Charleswalked and Mason laid down a bunt that skipped past Duhe to load the bases.

After Duhe struck out Mitchell, Roussell drove in the tying run as Zimmer bobbled his grounder to short. Williams then took Duhe’s first pitch andlaunched it over the left-center field fence for a grand slam, giving the Wildcats a 5-1 lead.

Darwin Pittman reached on a bobble by Zimmer and went to second on a wild pitch. After Sutherland grounded out to short, Jerome Anderson keptthe inning alive by doubling to right field to score Pittman. Reese followedwith a single to right, bringing in Anderson to make it 7-1.

Poirrier came in to relieve Duhe and walked Charles. Reese came in toscore as Mason singled past short. Mitchell then beat out a single to short,scoring Charles to give the Wildcats a 9-1 lead.

The Rebels began chipping into the Wildcats’ lead in the top of the fifth.

With one out, Brandon Delaneuville walked and Zimmer beat out a grounder to first. Poirrier then laced a double into the right-center field gap,scoring Delaneuville and sending Zimmer to third. A fly ball to center bySean Delaneuville scored Zimmer, cutting the deficit to 9-3.

Ryan Rome was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Duhe followed with adouble into the left field corner, plating Zimmer and Poirrier to bring the Rebels to within four. Anderson came in to replace Mitchell on the moundand got pinch hitter Britt Waguespack to pop up to first to end the inning.

Riverside tied the game with four runs in the sixth. Kenny Clement led offwith a single to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Keith LeBlancthen lined a home run over the left field fence, making the score 9-7.

After Delaneuville struck out, Zimmer walked and was forced at second by Poirrier. Sean Delaneuville kept the rally alive by getting hit by a pitch. After a wild pitch moved both runners up, Rome singled to right. Poirrierscored and Seth LeBlanc, running for Delaneuville, slid under the tag of Reese to tie the score at 9.

East St. John looked to move on top in the bottom of the inning as a hit bypitch by Mitchell and a walk by Roussell opened the inning. Courtesy runnerClarence Lee was caught stealing at third but Williams singled to right and Pittman walked to load the bases. Poirrier then got out the jam byfielding Sutherland’s chopper and forcing Roussell at the plate and striking out Anderson.

Anderson retired the Rebels in order in the top of the seventh. Charleswalked with one out in the bottom of the frame when the game was called.

Both coaches said they saw positives come out of the game.

“I felt we came through well,” Riverside coach Marshall Crooks said. “Ithelps anytime you can come back. We came in flat but East St. John did agood job of hitting the ball and taking it to us. I told the team toconcentrate on one run at a time and that is what we did.”East St. John coach Carey Ourso was also impressed with his team’shitting. The Wildcats were coming off playing in the Toot GanierTournament at Lutcher over the weekend, dropping the first two games before beating St. James, 15-5, Sunday.”We swung the bats real well,” Ourso said. “We got some big two out hitswhen we needed them. We were much improved from the weekend. I thinkwe are turning the corner as far as playing how we are capable of playing.” Both East St. John and Riverside are hosting tournaments this weekend.

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