Rams avenge early loss to ESJ

Published 12:58 pm Friday, March 15, 2013



RESERVE – Sometimes, when it comes to baseball, you just never know.

After East St. John trounced West St. John 12-0 on Feb. 26, it would have been easy to assume the Rams were in for another lopsided loss to their cross-parish rivals Tuesday.

But that assumption would have been sorely misguided. West St. John returned serve to earn a split with the Wildcats this season, upending ESJ 17-4.

The game ended after six innings because of the 10 run rule.

West St. John’s Dontre Turner went 2 for 4 with three RBIs at the plate while also earning the win on the mound, going a complete six inning game and striking out 12. He allowed five hits and walked two.

“Dontre Turner threw it really well,” said West St. John assistant coach Greg Joseph. “He threw a lot of strikes, and that was the biggest difference. The first time we played them, we walked 17 people.”

East St. John coach Shan Williams refuted the idea that his team may have taken the Rams lightly after the lopsided win the first time around.

“No, I wouldn’t say we did,” he said. “West St. John played really well. They hit it well and (Turner) had a good day on the mound. They just played much better than we did.”

Austin Howard went 2 for 4 at the plate and drove in 3 RBIs for WSJ (5-2). Rashad Smith went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs. Damond Pierce went 1 for 4 with three RBIs, Quantae Gaudet was 1 for 4 with 2 RBIs and Lavonta Augusta went 2 for 4.

For East St. John (5-5), Ahmani Martin led the way at the plate, hitting a double and collecting two RBIs. Bruce Winn went 3 for 3 with a double.

Darnell Lee took the loss for the Wildcats on the mound.

Joseph said moving Howard from his usual shortstop position to catcher for the game made a difference.

“We didn’t have nearly as many passed balls (as in the first game),” said Joseph. “Austin’s the best athlete on the field for us. He can play anywhere you need him. He did a strong job blocking the plate. Between that and throwing more strikes, we cleaned up our own mistakes and it made a difference.”

Joseph said the in meant a lot to the Ram players, many of whom play with and against East St. John players on teams during the summer.

At the same time, he said he Rams must not get too caught up in one win.

“We can’t hang our hat on any one thing we do,” he said. “We’re 1A and we beat a 5A, and it’s an accomplishment. But our focus is on getting better, and we still can get a lot better.”

ESJ 13, H.L. BOURGEOIS 9 – East St. John bounced back Thursday, taking a 10-2 lead before holding on to a 13-9 victory over H.L. Bourgeois at the South Terrebonne tournament.

Darnell Lee went 3 for 5 for ESJ. Shawne Jackson doubled and walked three times. Phil Adams went 2 for 5 and scored two runs. Daniel Franklin went 2 for 5 with a double.

Ryan Foster earned the win for ESJ, going five innings and allowing two earned runs – four total. He struck out one.

“He did a good job pitching to contact,” said ESJ coach Shan Williams.

“He gave us a good start and gave us a chance to build that lead.

Williams said that the Wildcats didn’t dwell on their loss Tuesday and came out swing the bats well this time around.

“Guys were real focused today,” he said. “After falling behind early, we put up a whole lot of runs … hitting is contagious. We really had guys feeding off of one another as the game went on.”

ESJ collected 12 hits and walked six times.

“Our patience at the plate has helped things along,” said Williams. “It lets us work their pitcher’s pitch count up high and gives us a better read on what he’s got.”

East St. John will finish play today at the South Terrebonne tournament, facing South Terrebonne at 9:30 a.m. and then Covenant Christian at noon.