Hahnville bests East St. John behind strong 7th

Published 12:01 am Saturday, April 4, 2015

RESERVE — Hahnville left resurgent East St. John still undefeated in District 7-5A play Tuesday, but by no means did the Wildcats make it easy for the Tigers, who captured a 7-2 victory at Regala Park.

Hahnville (12-11, 4-0) broke things open in the seventh inning, adding four runs to what was a 3-2 advantage.

Trent Bergeron (4-0) earned the win on the mound for Hahnville, going 4.1 innings. He struck out five and allowed five hits.

After Austin Perrin and Logan Billingsley each reached with one out in the seventh, East St. John brought in closer Ahmani Martin for starter Errol Cemelian. Braxton Dufrene earned an RBI with a base hit, then Brock Harrel did the same by lacing a pitch to left field, and Mason Candies drove a run in on a ground ball. Hahnville’s seventh run of the day scored on a wild pitch.

Waylon LeBlanc struck out three Wildcats in the bottom of the seventh to secure the victory.

“Both teams played really hard, and it was obviously a tough game,” Hahnville coach David Baudry said. “I thought Trent did a good job of limiting their opportunities (Tuesday), and we felt like Waylon would be a good matchup against them late in the game.

“Getting a few runs there in the seventh was huge.”

LeBlanc plated the Tigers’ first run of the day when he tripled to right field in the third inning. Matthew Barbier’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0, and Dufrene singled to left for the day’s third run.

ESJ answered after Phil Adams reached on a bunt single in the bottom of the third. C.J. turner doubled to left to make it 3-1.

Adams doubled and came around to score on a wild pitch in the fifth, drawing ESJ within one. But Hahnville caught Turner, who singled to reach, in a rundown between second and third to end the threat.

It was the second missed scoring opportunity of the day for ESJ on a baserunning mistake, as an errant suicide squeeze play in the fourth inning with one out stunted a promising inning.

“We left some runs out there, no doubt,” East St. John coach Matt White said. “We were competing hard against a great Hahnville team. They got some timely hits that proved the difference.”

Dufrene finished 3 for 4 with two RBIs to lead HHS.

Even in defeat, ESJ showed flashes of why it has gotten off to a 10-5 start to the season. Defensively, the Wildcats made a handful of impressive plays, including two from right fielder Don Creecy in the fourth inning that helped quiet Hahnville’s bats. ESJ committed no errors in the game.

“We’re a lot more disciplined,” Creecy said. “We’re more mature and our seniors are setting the tone.

“We’re feeling real good, but we know we can’t let up at all.”