East St. John makes Monroe trip count

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2015


MONROE — The East St. John baseball program has seen its share of lean times in recent seasons, but if last weekend was any indication, the Wildcats may indeed be on the upswing.

ESJ captured wins in two of three tournament games in Monroe, earning a 13-4 win over Bastrop and a 3-1 win over Union Parish, while falling to Choudrant, 4-3.

“Our goal was to at least get two of three,” East St. John coach Matt White said. “The Union Parish game, I thought, was a great way to cap things off for us. We pitched really well and made some timely defensive plays, and offensively we made some things happen against a pretty tough pitcher.

“We wanted to have some success and build some team camaraderie on our trip there, and I thought we really accomplished that. The only bad thing about it is all this rain. We’d love to keep that momentum going right now.”

In the tournament opening Bastrop (0-3) game, Chase Henderson went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and two doubles to lead the way offensively for East St. John (4-2). Juan Marshall and Demetrice Rudolph each scored two runs. C.J. Turner, I’Leke Brown and Justin Schnyder each stole two bases.

Turner earned the win on the mound, going five innings and allowing one earned run while striking out two. He allowed four hits.

The Wildcats fell in a close one to Choudrant (1-2). Turner was the offensive catalyst for ESJ in that game, going 2 for 3 with an RBI and double. Henderson also collected a hit and RBI. Schnyder took the loss, allowing two earned runs and four total over six innings. He allowed five hits and struck out three.

Turner again led the way from the three-hole for the Wildcats against Union Parish, going 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a double.

Brown earned the win, allowing one run over six innings. He allowed eight hits, walked two and struck out three. Rudolph earned the save, pitching a perfect seventh.

Union Parish (1-1) scored its lone run on a first inning home run, and ESJ held it scoreless the rest of the way.

White said the Wildcats have largely answered the bell defensively early this season after that was a point of emphasis in preseason preparation.

Pitching, too, has been a strength. So far this season, East St. John has allowed four runs or less in five of its six games.

“They’re each throwing very well,” White said. “Hitting their spots, controlling multiple pitches, and they’ve got a defense making plays behind them. That’s always a good recipe for continued success.”

The Wildcats will be back in action against West Jefferson on Friday.