CCHS defeats Oak Grove, returns to state tournament

Staff Report

OAK GROVE — The No. 5 ranked Central Catholic Eagles’ baseball team will make its second consecutive trip to the Class 1A state tournament following a 5-1 victory against No. 4 Oak Grove in Monday’s Class 1A quarterfinal.

Bryson Barbier tossed a complete-game three-hitter in the win. He surrendered an earned run with five walks and fanned four.

Central Catholic plated a run in the top of the second inning and two more in the top of the third to take a 3-1 advantage.

Oak Grove scored a run in the bottom of the fourth and the score remained that way until Central Catholic plated two runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Oak Grove (22-11) left seven runners on base in the loss.

Barron Courtney led Central Catholic (23-7) with a 1-for-3 performance with a double and two RBIs, while Tyler Hoffpauir also finished 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Other top contributors included Samuel Guarisco, 1-for-2, an RBI and a run; and Barbier, 1-for-2 and an RBI.

Central Catholic, winners of 13 straight, will now turn their attention to defending state champion and this year’s top seed, Ouachita Christian. The two teams will meet Friday at the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Warhawk Field. A time for the game has not been announced yet.

The game will be a rematch of last year’s state finals where Ouachita Christian run-ruled the Eagles, 10-0 in five innings.

Ouachita Christian advanced to the state semifinals following an 11-2 victory against No. 8 seed Cedar Creek. Ouachita Christian trailed 2-1 in the game heading into the bottom of the sixth inning before exploding for 10 runs in the inning, including four home runs.

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