ST. AMANT — In between the third and fourth innings, when his team went from a flat-footed tie to trailing host St. Amant by nine runs, Notre Dame baseball coach Steve Soper said there wasn’t a discernible difference in the team’s dugout.
“There wasn’t anything that was said,” Soper said. “That’s the kind of group of kids we have. They’re going to give you everything they’ve got until the end, which is a testament to them.”
Notre Dame dug out from its nine-run deficit with a six-run uprising in the fifth, added another run in the sixth before running out of steam in a 13-11 loss to St. Amant in Thursday’s South Louisiana Shootout at Gator Park.
The Pioneers (8-6) responded in Thursday’s second game with a 9-6 win over East Ascension.
Notre Dame fell behind early, trailing 2-0 after the first inning.
The Pios chipped away with a run in the second on Jacob Vicknair’s RBI-groundout and pulled even at 2-2 when a double steal from Pete Brown and Dillan Gilbert led to Brown eventually scoring on a wild pitch.
Notre Dame starting pitcher Nick Satchell, who walked three in the first inning, ran into more trouble in the third and was lifted before recording an out.
Satchell allowed six hits, seven earned runs, walked five and struck out one.
“It wasn’t the start we wanted,” Soper said. “It’s one thing with our kids whether we’re up 10 or down 10, we play the game one way. If ever there’s an example, we showed that tonight. We definitely did a good job of coming back and giving ourselves a chance at the end.”
St. Amant (9-6) banged out 15 hits with designated hitter Zachary Lipoma (3-for-3, 2 RBIs) and second baseman Adam Sevario (3-for-5, RBI) leading the way.
The Gators produced a 13-4 lead through four innings, batting around in the third and fourth innings for 11 runs on 10 hits.
Notre Dame (7-6) answered with six runs on five hits in the fifth, an inning that turned on a pair of throwing errors that opened the door for six unearned runs.
When catcher Nick Hanks (2-for-5, 4 RBIs) dropped a two-run single to left field, and Taylor Faulk walked with the bases loaded, the Pioneers trailed 13-10 after eight straight batters safely reached base.
“We try to create problems on the bases,” said Soper, whose team had 10 hits and stole four bases. “We try to put some pressure on people and force them to make some bad plays. We’ve been pretty solid with that the whole year and continued that today as much as we could.”
Reliever David Frank kept Notre Dame within striking distance, throwing two scoreless innings, and the Pios scored in the sixth, when Vicknair drove in Sam Hoffpauir with a ground out.
“One of the big goals we try as a team to prepare for district and the playoffs is to face some of the best competition early in the year,” said Soper, whose team is 1-5 this year against Class 5A teams. “That way we can find out how good we actually are.”