Bulldogs earn impressive victory over U-High

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
The Bulldogs' win over University was their fourth in five games. Photo by Chuck Montero.

Before the rain drenched the state and put baseball on hold for almost a week, the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs stepped up in classification and defeated the 3A University Lab Cubs, 4-2, to clinch their third straight victory. All three wins came against bigger schools.

Ascension Catholic was hot heading into their matchup with the Cubs. The previous weekend, they had an impressive showing in a tournament at Ouachita Christian. During the event, they secured two victories.

After an 8-4 loss to 2A Sterlington to open the action, the Bulldogs responded with a 4-3 win over 3A St. Mary's and finished the weekend with an overpowering 18-0 shutout victory over 2A St. Frederick.

They didn't have very long to enjoy the success. Two days later, they were hosting an always-powerful University squad.

Things did not get off to a promising start for Ascension Catholic. The Cubs scored a run in the second inning, and then got another in the top of the third to take a 2-0 lead. That was all the runs they would muster.

In the two-run hole, the Bulldogs had a big third inning. They put two scores on the board to tie the game.

They took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth and extended the advantage to 4-2 the next inning. The superb pitching of returning first-team All-State hurler Landon Clifton allowed them to take the victory.

It was Clifton's first victory of the year.

There wasn't a lot of offense. The Cubs were held to just three hits, while Ascension Catholic was only able to gather five.

Their best performance from the plate came from Garrett Hales as he went 1-3 with two RBIs and two walks.

Not only was the victory the third straight for Ascension Catholic, but it was also their fourth win in their previous five games.

It improved their overall record to 6-3. So far, all three of the Bulldogs' losses have come to higher-classification teams--3A Brusly, 2A Dunham and 2A Sterlington.

The Bulldogs have their sights set on a state championship this year after making two straight appearances in the state quarterfinals. After their great run last season, head coach Todd Landry said that his team's goal this season will be to finally break through and make a trip to Sulphur.

"We want to take that next step; that's our goal moving forward," Landry said. "We'll bring back lots of quality players with the goal to make it past the quarterfinals and into the state tournament. We've now experienced the quarterfinals two years in a row. We want to take that next step."

For now, the next step for Ascension Catholic will be a weekend tournament at Ascension Christian.

District play will begin on Monday, March 21, at home against East Iberville.