LAFAYETTE — When St. Thomas More baseball coach Gary Perkins finished his postgame handshake with Live Oak, he was pretty hyped about the Cougars’ 12-2 win.
“That is one of the very few games this year that we actually looked like a baseball team,” Perkins said smiling. “That’s why I am so excited. We haven’t had that many good feelings this year, but we pitched and hit and our overall team performance was great.
A five-run first inning set the tone for STM, including a Brennan Langlinais’ two-run single. Perkins said Live Oak’s starting pitcher, Tristin Cosby had trouble with his curveball in the first inning, allowing the Cougars to sit back and wait for their pitch.
“(Cosby) couldn’t get his curveball working in the first, but he found it in the second and third,” Perkins said. “He limited our run production in those innings, but in the first we were sitting back on the fastball and we got to him.”
In a game shortened to five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule, STM pitcher Ethan Hines went the distance, striking out four. It was the first game this season that Hines has gone five innings.
Hines struggled a bit in the third inning, giving up a home run to Ryan Morris, but Perkins said Hines’ ability to shutdown the Live Oak lineup in the first inning carried over to the offense.
“(Hines) set the tone there (in the first),” Perkins said. “He really challenged their hitters and did a great job. He lost his focus a bit in the third. That is part of the game, and he came back and found it. He is one of our better arms and hopefully this is a start of something good.”
Live Oak didn’t help its cause, committing two errors in the fourth inning allowing the Cougars to capitalize with two runs in the inning. Mason Templet ended the game in the fifth with a two-run homer.
“We’re a work in progress,” Perkins said, “but we’re going to start putting some pieces together in the next couple weeks. We’ll start looking like a strong 4A team when it’s said and done.”