Central Catholic outfielder Patrick Barron makes a throw back to the infield during Tuesday’s Class 1A regional contest with St. Edmund. The No. 3 seed Eagles run-ruled No. 19 St. Edmund, 12-2 in six innings to advance to the Class 1A quarterfinals. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
The Central Catholic Eagles capitalized on St. Edmund miscues as they rolled past the home standing Blue Jays en route to the Class 1A quarterfinals with a 12-2 win in six innings Tuesday.
The Eagles (26-4), who led 4-0 entering the fourth inning, had their big inning in the top of the fourth as the Eagles plated seven runs and made St. Edmund pay for multiple errors. St. Edmund finished the contest with six errors.
Central Catholic coach Tyler Jensen said his squad got some breaks early and were able to get base runners on, which caused “chaos.”
“We have a couple guys that can run, that can put a little pressure on you,” Jensen said, noting that the game quickly turned after a combination of what St. Edmund gave the Eagles and some Central Catholic hits.
St. Edmund coach Ryan Henderson said he didn’t expect the Eagles to run the bases as well as they did, but said errors hurt his team.
“We had a few costly errors early in the game, and against a good team like this, you can’t afford it,” Henderson said.
With the win, No. 3 Central Catholic now will advance to play the winner of No. 6 Covenant Christian and No. 11 St. Mary. That game will be played today in Houma.
In Tuesday’s win, Central Catholic started the scoring in the top of the second inning with three runs. T.J. Ruffin’s RBI-single to center field plated Stefano Guarisco, while later, the Eagles added a run via a St. Edmund error and a fielder’s choice by Charlie Barron.
The Eagles added a run in the bottom of the second on Ruffin’s base hit to left field before the Eagles blew the game open in the top of the fourth.
After Matthew Barbier walked and advanced to second base on a passed ball, he scored on Barron Courtney’s single to left field.
Courtney later scored on Nick Case’s double to right field for a 6-0 advantage before Case scored on Stefano Guarisco’s infield single.
The Eagles added two more runs later in the inning via a bases-loaded double to left-center field by Samuel Guarisco before Barbier drove in two more runs via a single to center field.
No. 19 St. Edmund (12-17) plated a run in the bottom of the fourth after Rozas’ single to deep right field got past Central Catholic’s Sage Thibodaux, allowing Rozas to advance to third base. He scored on a ground out by Will Chachere.
The Blue Jays added another run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Drew Brown tripled to center field, driving home Alex Hunt, who had earlier connected on a one-out single to right field.
The Eagles got a scare on Brown’s triple, however, when center fielder Stefano Guarisco, who was tracking down the ball, took a hard hit into the center field wall while trying to make the catch.
He was helped off the field after a few minutes and didn’t return to the game. However, Jensen said later that Guarisco was OK.
The Eagles added their final run in the top of the sixth inning to put the run-rule in effect after Samuel Guarisco, who earlier had walked, scored on a groundout to third base by Barron.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting that,” Jensen said of the run-rule victory, the Eagles’ second this postseason after run-ruling False River Thursday in the first-round.
Jensen said the game didn’t feel like a run-rule, however.
“Every single guy was a tough out,” he said. “(They) do a really good job of battling, especially with two strikes. That’s a credit to their coaching and their program.”
While the Eagles’ offense got going, pitcher Bryson Barbier earned his second consecutive playoff victory Tuesday. In six innings, he surrendered two earned runs on seven hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.
St. Edmund left eight runners on base, including five in scoring position. The Blue Jays left runners at second and first base in the bottom of the third inning, a runner at third base in the bottom of the fifth and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“We couldn’t get the clutch hit at the times we had men on base,” Henderson said.
The St. Edmund coach said he was proud of his squad for not giving up, but it was too late for his squad to come back from the big deficit.
Offensively, Matthew Barbier led the Eagles with a 3-for-3 performance with a double, two RBIs and a run; Ruffin was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs; and Courtney, 2-for-4, an RBI and a run. Other top contributors included Case, 2-for-5, a double, an RBI and a run; Samuel Guarisco, 1-for-3, a double, two RBIs and three runs; and Barron, two RBIs.
Even with the 12 hits and six St. Edmund errors, the Eagles still stranded 11 runners on base, including six in scoring position. The Eagles left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning.