SULPHUR —Top-seeded Ouachita Christian scored early and often in taking a 12-0 mercy run win over the seventh-seeded St. Edmund Blue Jays to claim the Class 1A Title at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Baseball Tournament at McMurry Park.
The win for the Eagles was propelled by the hitting of Grant Shepherd who went 2-for-2 with two grand slams, eight RBIs and three runs scored. He was named Class 1A Outstanding Player for his performance.
“Grant Shepherd has done it for us all year long,” Ouachita Christian Coach John Parker said. “He has come through in clutch situations for us and coming up in a big-time situation for us (Saturday). He came out today with two grand slams and MVP you can’t ask for anything better.”
St. Edmund (20-12) struggled to get any offense going early. In the top of the first, Ross Lafleur reached base on an error. Two batters later, Drew Brown walked but consecutive fly outs ending the threat.
Ouachita Christian (31-7) wasted little time jumping out to a lead in the bottom of the first. Jake Slaughter opened with a single. The bases were loaded after a hit batsman and a walk. Shepherd followed with his first grand slam. Ouachita Christian scored one more run in the inning to take a 5-0 lead.
The Blue Jays threatened in the top of the second inning as Alex Hunt reached on an error. A walk by Austin Sitting put two runners on, but a double play ending the inning.
“They hit the ball extremely well,” St. Edmund Coach Scotty Richard said. “We hit the ball early in the game, but some fell and some didn’t. They had a couple good hits, and they are a good ball club.”
Ouachita Christian added to its lead in the second inning.
The first run was scored by Slaughter who singled but ended up scoring on the play after two errors.
A two-run single by Josh Pennebaker scored Beau Bailey and Shepherd and gave the Eagles an 8-0 lead after two innings.
Ouachita Christian put the game out of reach in the fourth inning with four runs. The scoring came after Shepherd’s second grand slam, which came with two outs.
St. Edmund’s main threat of scoring came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Singles by Hunt and Jack Brown gave them two on with one out. A walk by Aaron Sittig loaded the bases, but Lafleur grounded out to end the inning.
“I told my kids not to hang their head and hold it up high as they are one of the best two teams in the state,” said St. Edmund coach Scotty Richard. “They got beat by a really good Ouachita Christian team. I know we are better than that but it wasn’t happening today.”