Gomez, Zoglio lead way as Otto Candies topples Townsend Homes, 1-0

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Sports Editor

Otto Candies pitcher Justin Zoglio puts a lot of faith in the defense behind him.  

After Monday, who could blame him?

Right fielder John Gomez threw two Townsend Homes runners out at the plate, saving two runs and giving Zoglio all the help he needed to preserve a 1-0 district win for Hahnville-based Otto Candies at Hahnville.

With the win, Otto Candies (9-7, 5-1) moves a step closer to locking up at least the second seed in the American Legion’s Second District West. It was Otto’s second win this summer over St. Charles-based Townsend Homes (6-8, 5-3), who sits alone in third place.

Otto is a game back in the loss column from first place Valero-St. Charles.

After Matt Bonnecarre was hit by a pitch to lead off the sixth, pinch runner James Krawczyk advanced to second on a passed ball and to third on a sacrifice fly by Alex Marse.

With one out, a deep fly ball to right field looked to be enough to score Krawczyk. But Gomez uncorked a lazer toward home plate, beating the runner. Krawczyk tried to avoid the tag of catcher Jared Vial by jumping around it, but was blocked from home plate and was tagged as he tried to reach back to it.  

“The defense was really working behind me,” said Zoglio.

It was the second time Gomez robbed Townsend of a run, a major key with hits at a premium – Zoglio allowed only two hits, while Townsend started Jared Keating allowed only three.

Zoglio said he recognized the strike zone well early on, and it carried throughout the day.

“The umpire was calling the high strike, so I looked to take advantage of it,” Zoglio said. “I just pounded the strike zone.”

Keating, meanwhile, kept his team in it all day.

“You can’t say enough about Jared,” said Townsend Coach Paul Waguespack. “He did a real good job.

“We just didn’t hit the ball. It’s frustrating.”

Otto Candies scored the first and only run of the game in the first inning.

    After Brandon Young walked to lead off the game, he reached second base on a wild pitch, then stole third. A sacrifice fly by Gomez plated him to make it 1-0.

Waguespack pointed to that moment as the game’s true key.

“You can’t defend a walk,” said Waguespack. “That’s not to say Jared didn’t throw great, but you can’t defend a walk, and it bit us.”

Otto Candies’ Coach Kade Rogers said that his team’s aggressiveness in that situation was a bit new. The team has lost nine seniors from the prep season, and gone are a number of power hitters.

“This is a scrappier team than we’ve had in the past,” said Rogers. “Now, we’ve got to play a bit of small ball to get our runs.”

For Townsend, it was yet another close loss. The team has suffered five losses by one run this summer.

    Waguespack says that whether his team’s luck changes is largely up to them.

“You make your own luck,”  said Waguespack. “Now sometimes, I’d rather be more lucky than good. Sometimes you need some luck on your side, don’t get me wrong.

But you can create your own sometimes by trying to make things happen. Put balls in play, hit them on the ground. We didn’t do that today.”

TOWNSEND HOMES, 11, FATTY’S RESTAURANT, 0 – Last Wednesday, Townsend Homes traveled to Riverside to face Fatty’s Restaurant, coming away with an 11-0 Second District win.

Townsend led 1-0 after two innings, then scored two in the third, four in the fourth, one in the fifth, and three in the seventh to cap things off.

Henri Fauchier went the complete game for the shutout. He struck out three and allowed five hits.

Ritchie Terrio took the loss for Fatty’s Restaurant.

Bonnecarre went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Wesley was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Alex Marse was 2-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored.

Unlike the Otto Candies game, Waguespack felt his team was selective at the plate against Fatty’s.

“We chased pitches (against Otto Candies),” said Waguespack. “But we hit the ball in the zone against (Fatty’s). We swung the bats well.”