Two big innings give Bulldogs edge over Lions

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief
Mason Zeringue scored two runs and drove in two runs during the Bulldogs' 8-5 win over the Lions. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Ascension Christian went blow-for-blow with Ascension Catholic for much of their district matchup on Wednesday evening. They even out-hit the Bulldogs, 11-8.

However, the game came down to two crucial innings—the third and the sixth. In those frames, Ascension Catholic outscored them 8-1. It was good enough to earn the Bulldogs an 8-5 victory.

"They would answer, and we would answer. We made some base-running mistakes that disappointed me, but I thought we played well enough to win. I was proud of them,” Bulldog head coach Todd Landry said.

After the game, Ascension Christian head coach Conrad Gayle said that his team is close, but they’re still making the little mistakes.

"You can't play every game, or every inning, or every at-bat; you have to play every pitch--especially when you're facing Ascension Catholic, because those guys are going to make you pay,” Gayle said.

The Lions had an early opportunity to score in the top of the second when Sal Montalbano walked and Tristan Trahan singled, but both players were left stranded.

At the bottom of the inning, Charlie Gianelloni led off with a double for the Bulldogs, and he was sent home on a single by Brock Acosta.

Ascension Christin was able to tie the game in the top of the third.

Josh Diez came up with a two-outs single, and he scored following a triple by Landon Ortego that hit the leftfield wall.

Though, the bottom of the third was a bit of a disaster for the Lions.

Leadoff batter Parker Hales was hit by a pitch. Andrew Landry entered the game as a courtesy runner. William Dunn joined him on base with a single.

Landry eventually scored on a passed ball. And following a Mason Zeringue walk, Dunn scored when the Lions attempted to pick Zeringue off at first.

Rodney Blanchard then singled. After Zeringue scored on a wild pitch, Blanchard came home on a passed ball.

The barrage gave Ascension Catholic a comfortable 5-1 advantage that lasted until the fifth.

There, the Lions got a little closer with a solo home run by Mason Braud. In the sixth, a sac fly by Hunter Jacobs trimmed the deficit to 5-3.

But Ascension Catholic came up with their best offensive inning in the bottom of the sixth.

Hales was hit by another pitch to start the inning, and Dunn joined him on base with a single. Zeringue then came up with a two-RBI single.

Zeringue was then sent home with a single by Blanchard.

The two key hits extended the Bulldog advantage to 8-3.

But the Lions never gave up.

In the seventh, both Tyler Cambre and Diez came up with singles, and Montalbano brought both players home with a double.

But that’s as close as the Lions would get. They fell, 8-5.

In defeat, Montalbano went 2-3 with a walk and two RBIs. Diez went 3-4.

The loss dropped Ascension Christian to 15-6 overall.

“I’m proud of how we didn't give up,” Gayle said. “Of course, I would love to be competing for Sulphur, but with this program, we're taking it to a whole new level. That's competing, doing the small things and playing every pitch with a purpose."

The Bulldogs were led by Zeringue as he went 1-2 with two walks and two RBIs. Blanchard was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI, and Dunn went 2-4.

After suffering through a five-game losing streak, the 8-5 win over the Lions was the seventh straight for Ascension Catholic.

"We've been getting good starting pitching. We’re throwing strikes and not walking a lot of guys. It starts there,” Coach Landry said. “We're playing good defense behind. We're not making a whole lot of mistakes defensively, and the mistakes we are making, they're not hurting us. During that five-game losing streak, those things magnify, and they were just killing us.”