Retif’s Simpson silences Townsend bats, wins 2-0

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 2010



NEW ORLEANS – For the second time in five days, Townsend Homes and Retif Oil squared off at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium, only this time in Second District play.

But thanks to a sterling performance on the mound by John Simpson, Jesuit-based Retif Oil came away with a 2-0 victory over St. Charles-based Townsend Homes to begin district play on a winning note.

“The good news is, it’s June 2,” said Townsend coach Paul Waguespack. “We’ve got plenty of time. Right now, you’ve got some kids learning different roles, even the returning starters.

“Shane (McNeil) is moved up to our five hitter, Pot Roast (Jared Keating) is in the four hole instead of sixth, and Brady (Hitt) goes from leadoff to third. Everyone’s learning how to deal with some different situations.”

Simpson tossed a three-hitter in a complete game effort. He walked three and struck out eight.

“It’s what you expect from John,” said Retif coach Joe Latino. “He’s not overpowering, but he’s very consistent … He’s gonna rely on his fastball and his good control of it.”

He outdueled Townsend’s Jared Keating, who allowed just four hits and two runs, both in the first inning. Keating has now pitched nine innings against Retif this summer and allowed just the two earned runs.

“Jared threw real well,” said Waguespack. “When you give up just two runs to Jesuit, with all those seniors back, you have to be pleased.”

Retif (2-0, 1-0) loaded the bases with one out in the first inning on a walk to Tony Fortier-Benson, a single by Briggs Barrios and a walk to Derek Dunham. Keating got Johnny Morse to pop out, but couldn’t avoid the big hit when Ethan Oddo hit a ball hard to right. Two runs scored to make it 2-0.

“Fortunately for us, it was all we needed,” said Latino.

Simpson, meanwhile, was locked in. He allowed no hits in the first four innings, only allowing one baserunner on a walk and another on an error. But Townsend (0-2, 0-1) started to stir in the fifth when Shane McNeil broke up the no-hitter with a shot up the middle. Jeffrey Hall followed with a walk, but Simpson retired the next two batters to end the threat.

Macky Cortez singled in the sixth for Townsend to begin another threat with two outs. But Retif’s Bubby Riley robbed Brady Hitt with a tremendous diving catch in center field to end the inning.

Finally, in the seventh, McNeil walked and Hall reached on an infield hit, putting runners on first and third for Chad McNeil. But Simpson would strike him out, then catcher Dunham threw Hall out on a steal attempt at second to end the game.

“We’ve been a little snake-bitten,” said Waguespack. “We left them loaded twice on Saturday, then missed some chances today. But the hitting will come around. I’m very happy with this team.

“I know we’ll get exactly what we’re playing for out of this summer.”