After using three pitchers in a marathon elimination game Sunday, it seemed reasonable that Peake BMW coach Mark Wisniewski would struggle to find pitching for Monday’s elimination game against the River Ridge Patriots.
But Brother Martin-based Peake had enough in the tank Monday afternoon to defeat River Ridge 7-5 in the American Legion Southeast Regional at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
Brandon Bonura and Mason Bonnaffons combined for 5.1 innings of scoreless relief to keep Peake alive in the tournament. Peake next will play Hahnville-based Otto Candies on Tuesday. Curtis-based River Ridge was eliminated. The game was shortened to seven innings because of a lengthy weather delay earlier Monday.
“When you get into games like this in a tournament and you’ve gone through five, six, seven pitchers, people just have to step up and fight through,” Wisniewski said. “We’re just asking them to compete, play hard, and see where it falls.”
Things got off to a rocky start for Peake. River Ridge scored in the top of the first when Brandon Davis led off with a double to left and advanced to third on a passed ball and then home on a wild pitch. Peake answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, when Joel Bergeron walked, stole second, and came home on an error.
But the Patriots put four runs on the board in the top of the second. Cade Comeaux put River Ridge ahead when he laced a bases-clearing double down the left-field line, and Hunter Bufkin then plated Comeaux with a single to make the score 5-1.
But once again, Peake answered — this time with three walks and a hit batter to start the second, then a sacrifice fly from Brady Faust, and a two-run triple by Bergeron. Bonnaffons scored Bergeron on a flyball that put Peake ahead for good at 6-5.
Ben Chaplain singled to score Brendan Brown in the bottom of the third, and then the bats went silent behind the pitching of Bonura and Bonnaffons. River Ridge did get their leadoff batter on in the sixth, but Davis was thrown out trying to steal second. A pair of infield flies ended the inning.
“It’s important to throw strikes when you come in for relief and get on top of everybody,” Bonura said. “After two or three games of being in the bullpen, your arm can get tired. You just have to be ready.”
Bonnaffons said he likes Peake’s chances as the tournament continues.
“We had a few growing pains this year, and we’re starting to find out which guys go where,” he said. “We have a lot of potential out there, and we’re getting a good effort. When you have that, you can beat anybody.”
Southland Hogs 13, Townsend Homes 0: The Covenant Christian-based Hogs won by the mercy rule over St. Charles Catholic-based Townsend in Monday’s opening game at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
Southland’s Austin Aucoin didn’t allow a hit and faced only one batter over the minimum in his five-inning no-hitter.
Blake Freeman led the way, going 2-for-2 with four RBIs and a home run. Gage Veron went 2-for-3 with four RBIs.
The game was scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m., but a weather delay stalled the game in the top of the first. When play resumed 1½ hours later, the Hogs made quick work of Townsend and eliminated them from the tournament.
Southland next will face Ponstein’s on Tuesday.
Peake 7, River Ridge 5
River Ridge Patriots 140-000-0 – 5-4-1
Peake BMW 151-000-x – 7-4-2
WP: Brandon Bonura
LP: Luke Pounds
Top hitters: River Ridge and Peake BMW had four players with one hit each.
Southland 13, Townsend 0
Townsend Homes 000-00 – 0-0-1
Southland Hogs 535-0x – 13-13-1
WP: Austin Aucoin
LP: Nick Roberts.
Top hitters: Josh Hebert, Xave Washington 2-for-3, Blake Freeman, 2-2, 4 RBI, HR; Cage Veron, 2-for-3, 4 RBI, Logan Arceneaux, 2-for-3, 1 RBI.