No one had a rougher evening than Episcopal coach Travis Bourgeois, who lost a baseball game and three teeth Tuesday night at Emerald Field.
Bourgeois was in the dugout as the Knights stranded two base runners in the top of the seventh inning of a 6-5 loss to District 6-2A rival Redemptorist (9-12, 3-0).
During pregame warmups, while hitting balls to his fielders, an errant throw struck Bourgeois in the face. Bourgeois lost three teeth but didn’t miss an inning of Episcopal’s game.
“The main thing is we had a chance to win in the seventh inning,” said Bourgeois, who looked as if he’d been through a prize fight after the game. “We fell behind early, and we could have tanked it. Our kids played a full seven innings.”
Episcopal (11-7, 2-1) trailed 6-5 but got singles by Nick Patty and Wayne Stabiler to open the top of the seventh. Connor Pellerin then laid down a bunt, but Wolves pitcher Jeremy Gajan alertly threw to third base to cut down the lead runner.
Gajan then retired the last two batters on a pop fly and a groundout.
Redemptorist bunched up eight hits in the first four innings when it scored all six of its runs.
“I don’t know what it is about playing at home, but our hitters just show up that much more when we’re here,” said RHS coach Daniel Jewett. Maybe its because it’s the last season here and there are only a select few games left to play. Whenever we play at home, we certainly bring our ‘A’ game offensively.”
The Wolves got a boost with the return of Caleb Nunez, who started and lasted 4.1 innings. Projected to be the staff ace, Nunez had battled a stress fracture and was limited to playing in the field before his return.
“This was his third outing back,” Jewett said of Nunez’ 71-pitch performance. “It feels good to have him back. Anytime you can get your top rotation guy back it’s certainly a boost for the team.”
Redemptorist took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jacob Stagg’s home run to center. Stagg walked his next three at-bats.
In the RHS second, Connor Calihan singled and scored on Hunter Todd’s double. Episcopal starter Chris Thibodaux was almost out of the jam, but a fielding error scored Todd for the second run of the inning.
The Knights came back with three runs in third to tie it. David Tatman singled with one out and stole second. He took third on a wild pitch and scored when the throw from catcher Jacob Stagg went into left field.
With two outs, Chris Beckman slammed a two-run homer to left-center field. Scoring ahead of Beckman was Trent Dykes, who had walked.
The teams then traded single runs. Lee Whitaker’s RBI single put the Wolves up 4-3. Episcopal’s Brennon Folse doubled, and later scored on a fielding error to tie the game.
Redemptorist took the lead for good in the fourth, an inning it started with four consecutive singles. Gajan singled and scored on an errant pickoff throw. Cameron Calihan singled in Chris Duncan.
“It was probably more runs than people might have expected for a Tuesday district game,” Bourgeois said. “It came down to them getting that one extra insurance run.”