Bulldogs make it look easy in game one
In last season’s home quarterfinal series, Ascension Catholic fell into a hole, dropping game one to Opelousas Catholic, 5-4.
The Bulldogs ended up losing the series in three games, which snapped their streak of three straight state semifinal appearances.
Ascension Catholic made sure they weren’t going to have to play catchup two years in a row.
In game one of the Bulldogs’ quarterfinal series against seventh-seeded St. Frederick, they jumped out to a 4-0 lead. And even when the Warriors cut it to 4-3, Ascension Catholic responded with five runs in the third to take a 9-3 advantage.
From there, the Bulldogs rolled to a 13-3 victory in six innings.
“We prepared a lot this week. The plan and all the prep we did paid off today,” Ascension Catholic head coach Gee Cassard said. “We scored in every inning, and the big one was the third. They hung up three on us, and we came back and hung up five. That was pretty much the knockout punch.”
In the bottom of the first inning, Lex Melancon led off with a single and Brooks Leonard joined him on base following a double.
Melancon was driven home by a Bryce Leonard sac fly, and Layton Melancon drove another run home with an infield single to make it 2-0.
In the second, Jake Landry and Colin Brown both walked with two outs. Brooks Leonard then sent both runners home with a double to make it 4-0.
St. Frederick showed signs of life in the top of the third. The Warriors scratched three runs to cut the deficit to 4-3, but that’s as close as they would get.
In the bottom of the frame, Ascension Catholic loaded the bases and Demarco Harry drove one run home with a single.
Later, the Bulldogs scored two runs on balks, and two more came home following a St. Frederick throwing error to make it 9-3.
In the fourth, Jackson Landry crushed a two-run homer over the centerfield wall, and he came up with an RBI single in the fifth to make it 12-3.
Brooks Leonard ended the game in the sixth with an RBI double. He went 3-5 with three RBIs for the contest.
Jackson Landry was 2-4 with a homer and three RBIs. Layton Melancon was 2-3 with a walk and an RBI, and Harry went 2-2, walked and drove in one run.
“I was happy with the way we stuck to the plan,” Cassard said. “We had some guys with some big at-bats. Jackson Landry had the two-run homer, Brooks, Bryce, Lex—all of those guys had big at-bats. I was just proud of their approach, and we came up with some timely hits. So, I’m very proud of them.”
From the mound, Bryce Leonard pitched six complete—yielding five hits and two earned runs. He struck out seven.
The Bulldogs are now one victory away from advancing to the state semifinals, after missing out last season.
“We reminded them about it all week and heading into the playoffs,” Cassard said. “We got to this point last year, and we had some guys that threw well. We had a no-hitter until the seventh in one game, and we had a shutout until the last inning of the other game. Just that feeling of knowing that we didn’t do everything that we needed to do to move on has motivated us.
“We should have been that team that moved on, but we didn’t execute. So, today, the mindset was that we didn’t want to feel that again. We needed to come out today and win the ball game and stop waiting around for someone to make a play. I liked our approach today, and it was good to come out and take control of the ball game, extend it and finish it.”