After two down-to-the-wire contests, Catholic High and Hahnville have set the stage for a dramatic third and deciding game.
This time it was the Bears who executed at the opportune time.
Connor Bowen’s one-out, two-run single broke a tie in the top of the eighth inning, and relief pitcher Brady Sartain finished a sterling effort, leading No. 4 Catholic to a 4-2 victory over No. 13 Hahnville on Saturday at Catholic High.
The extra-inning drama tied the best-of-three Class 5A state second-round playoff game after Hahnville (25-10) won 4-1 in the opener.
The third game of the entertaining series is scheduled for at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“I don’t know how the other playoff games are going around the state,” Catholic coach Brad Bass said. “But those are two teams that want to win.”
The game resumed seven hours after being suspended with no score and Hahnville batting in the bottom of the second inning and a runner at first.
Sartain (6-1) threw two-hit relief over 5.1 innings, striking out five and walking two.
Catholic (26-6) got two runners on against losing pitcher Lloyd Landry with one out when Bowen, who was 2-for-4, drove reliever Waylon LeBlanc’s full-count pitch through the hole into right.
That enabled Josh Smith and Tristan Welch to score and break a 2-2 tie.
Sartain worked a perfect eighth with a strikeout and a pair of groundouts.
“This was just a war between two teams,” Hahnville coach David Baudry said. “To their credit, they got the hit. We had all kinds of opportunities, and the ball just didn’t drop in.”
Despite the lengthy delay, starting pitchers Brian Fairbanks of Catholic and Bryce Hargis of Hahnville returned.
The lead changed hands twice in the third inning when Catholic got a run on a double-play ground ball off the bat of Smith, scoring Patrick Crifasi from second.
Hahnville recaptured the lead without benefit of a hit, scoring twice on a throwing error by Fairbanks to the plate on Austin Perrin’s safety squeeze.
Sartain was summoned in relief of Fairbanks in the bottom half of the inning with two on, one out and a 2-0 count to Hargis.
Cade Miguez sacrificed both runners up a base, but Sartain struck out Wade Orgeron swinging to end the inning.
Landry pitched three-plus innings in relief of Hargis, allowing two hits and a walk and striking out two.