HHS jumps on Wildcats, extends streak
Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2012
By RYAN ARENA
RESERVE — It’s all but certain that there will be bumps along the road when it comes to rebuilding a program, and Monday’s District 8-5A contest represented such for East St. John.
For Hahnville, a 10-run rule 13-1 victory over its local rival was the latest win for a Tigers’ team that has hit its stride at the outset of district play — HHS has now won eight straight games, and as alarmingly for upcoming district competition, has scored 10 runs or more in five of the last six games.
East St. John coach Curtis Tsuruda and his staff are attempting to right a ship: the Wildcats (8-13, 0-2) have lost four straight games in what has been a season of streaks.
He points to Hahnville as an example of what the Wildcats program is striving to become.
“When you’re as fundamentally sound as they are, it’s tough to beat,” said Tsuruda. “Kade does an amazing job. They do everything you’re supposed to do … We’re trying to be like them.
“What it boils down to right now is that Hahnville is playing extremely well, and we’re not. We made some mistakes today, and against that team you can’t afford it.”
Hahnville (14-12, 2-0) scored at least a run in all five innings played, peaking with four runs to close the game in the fifth.
“That’s something we talked about before the game,” said Hahnville coach Kade Rogers. “We wanted to put at least one up in every inning. We wanted to jump on them early and not make it close late … last year, we did that and they beat us.
“They’re a good team that plays hard … Coach Tsuruda is doing a real good job and he’s got a bunch of good kids. Today, we were just fortunate to get off to a good start and come away with the win.”
It began with a single first inning run, after Travis Faucheaux led off with a double. Dylan Keller and Cody Farrell each walked, and Mike Ford’s single down the left field line made it 1-0. ESJ pitcher I’Kee Brown picked Keller off of first base before that hit and retired the next two batters after Ford to avoid further damage.
The second inning began with Tyler Lamers’ single to right, a walk to Easton Melancon and a bunt single by Ty Cologne. Faucheaux plated a run on a sacrifice fly, then Keller and Farrell each pushed home runs on RBI singles to make it 4-0.
Hahnville again loaded the bases in the third inning on a single by Connor Lorio and walks drawn by Simmons and Lamers. Melancon’s sacrifice fly made it 5-0, then Cologne hit an RBI single and Faucheaux collected his second RBI on a groundout.
Meanwhile, HHS pitcher Brooks Vial allowed just one hit in his four innings of work, a single by Bruce Winn. He walked Phil Adams and Shawne Jackson, but ESJ didn’t get anything going offensively until the fifth inning, where it scored after a leadoff double by Winn, a single by Ahmani Martin and an RBI single by Diontra Rixner, after Vial had left the game.
“Brooks Vial kept them off balance, and we turned a couple of double plays,” said Rogers. “It was just an all-around good effort.”
Tsuruda added, “Ashton Lewis smoked one up the middle, and (shortstop Cody Farrell) dives for it, catches it, and immediately has the presence of mind to double us off of first. That’s indicative of the type of game it was and the team they have.”
Simmons, Ford, Keller, Farrell and Lamers all knocked in runs in the fourth and fifth innings, Ford driving home two.
“We need to fight on every pitch and every play. If things start sliding backwards, no matter what you’re competing in, you don’t give up,” said Tsuruda. “Our guys do keep fighting. But if you lapse for a play or two, in baseball, the ball seems to find you.”
East St. John fell over the weekend to John Ehret, 13-3, in another district game. The Wildcats were scheduled to return to action Tuesday at Destrehan.