DENHAM SPRINGS — With the Live Oak bats providing more than enough run support, all Austin Beck needed was to throw strikes Saturday afternoon against Fontainebleau.
Mission accomplished for the senior right-hander, who went the distance as Live Oak turned back Fontainebleau 10-3 in the Yellow Jacket Invitational tournament at North Park.
With bad weather forcing a change in the tournament schedule, Live Oak also played West Ouachita late Saturday afternoon.
Fontainebleau (1-9) stayed close for 4½ innings, when it trailed 6-3. Live Oak (7-3), which advanced to the Class 5A championship game last season, put the game away with four runs in the bottom of the fifth.
“I felt good,” Beck said. “In the middle innings I started leaving the ball over the middle (of the plate). I’d get ahead two strikes and then throw a hanging curve.
“I just need to keep the ball low.”
Beck (3-0) gave up five hits and three earned runs while striking out five with two walks.
“Austin’s a strike thrower,” LOHS coach Gregg Briggs said. “He’s a contact pitcher, so we’ve got to play defense behind him. I thought he did a very good job.”
At the plate, sophomore Preston Faulkner had a double, a home run and three RBIs. Lenni Kunert contributed three hits and two RBIs.
The Eagles scored two runs in each of the first three innings. Doubles by Kunert and Faulkner keyed the two-run first. In the second, Kunert added an RBI single while Faulkner launched a two-run homer to left in the third.
Louis Pyle, who relieved FHS starter Keith Hunter, threw a scoreless fourth but was tagged for four runs in the fifth. Pinch hitter Colby Freneaux’s two-run single was the big blow. Kunert and Brady Morris also had RBI singles.
Fontainebleau got to Beck for a pair of runs in the top of the third.
Peyton Wineski’s one-out double drove in both runs, but consecutive groundouts left him stranded at third.
Austin Lambertson led the FHS fourth with a single, and he later scored on Tristan Halbrook’s two-out single.
“We didn’t have many errors today, but we just didn’t execute when we had the chances,” said FHS coach Mike Woods, whose team has broken out of an early season hitting slump.
“Once the hitting came around, we had a spell where we were making errors. It killed us last week, but we’re working on it.”
Despite returning most of its team from last season, Live Oak is still trying to work out kinks of its own.
“We’re still trying to find our way,” Briggs said. “We’ve got some guys playing different positions, and some guys throwing a little bit. We’re tweaking the lineup, and haven’t quite found our niche just yet.”