With a game that had already been postponed a day, delayed at the beginning and middle Wednesday evening a tie-breaking homer from Catholic High’s Hayden Mixon appeared to be as good as gold.
An inning later the Bears made it a moot point.
Mixon’s solo blast down the left-field line snapped a 4-all tie before Catholic erupted for an eight-run sixth inning in a 13-4 victory at Central.
“The home run from Hayden right before the rain started to come gave us a little since of confidence,” Catholic coach Brad Bass said. “Before that it was back and forth with each of us scoring and then the big home run and the delay we faced definitely gave us a little springboard.”
Mixon (3-for-3, 2 RBIs) highlighted Catholic’s 12-hit output which contributions from second baseman Josh Smith (2-4, 2B, RBI) and center fielder Simon Prevot (2-2, HR, 2 RBIs).
Winning pitcher Ross Massey (3-0), a Tulane signee, allowed six hits, four runs (three earned), walked three and fanned eight in a 97-pitch outing, 60 of which were strikes.
Central (8-2) scored twice on three hits in the bottom of the first, including an RBI-single to right by first baseman Chris Chambliss, to erase an early 1-0 deficit during a steady drizzle.
Catholic recaptured a 4-2 lead in the third on back-to-back doubles from Smith and Mixon followed by Prevot’s two-run homer to right — his first of the season.
Central answered in the bottom half of the inning with courtesy runner Josh DeJean scoring from third on a passed ball and heads-up base running from Jordan Wilkins made it 4-all.
Massey got a swinging third strike by Central’s Andrew Harris for what would have been the final out of the inning. Catcher Cole Johnson dug the ball out of the dirt and thought he tagged Harris up the line, throwing the ball back toward the mound.
However, the home plate umpire never signaled an out which prompted a visit from Bass but to no avail.
Following an 18-minute delay in the top of the fifth Catholic batted around an inning later with four hits against three Central relievers.
Johnson’s bases-loaded, 2-run single made it 7-4 with Brian Fairbanks and Matt Crapazano each accounting for RBIs with a single and groundout, respectively. The Bears also took advantage of three throwing errors and two wild pitches.
“I was proud of my guys in the first four to five innings,” Central coach Mike Forbes said. “We really battled against one of the best pitchers in the state and showed some moxie. We’re a good baseball team. The end result really doesn’t tell how good of a team we are.”