PORT ALLEN — It took the West Feliciana baseball team nine innings to beat Port Allen on Tuesday.
To be more accurate, it took the Saints nine innings to win both legs of a doubleheader.
The Saints dominated their District 6-3A rivals in back-to-back games, posting wins of 16-0 in four innings and 11-1 in five.
“These games are good sometimes for guys who are struggling at the plate so they can get some confidence and feel good going into the bulk part of district,” West Feliciana coach Gannon Achord said.
The teams were scheduled to play one game Tuesday and another later in the week, but the coaches decided Monday night to make it a Tuesday doubleheader because of weather concerns. The last-minute adjustment didn’t slow West Feliciana: The Saints got out to a blistering start.
West Feliciana (17-3, 4-0) scored 11 runs on seven hits in the first two innings, none bigger than Terry Ferguson’s second-inning grand slam. It was the sixth grand slam of his career.
“It was a big win, but now we have to prepare for the big district games coming up,” Ferguson said.
The Saints offense slowed in the second game; they led Port Allen 3-0 heading into the fourth inning, prompting Achord to call a team meeting in front of the dugout.
“I just told our guys that we have to stop worrying about our opponent,” he said. “We have to play our best brand of baseball from the first pitch to the last, and everything else will take care of itself. When you get caught up in who you’re playing and try to play up or down — we don’t want that. We want consistency.”
The Saints responded with six runs on three hits in the fourth before sealing the win in the fifth when Trey Morgan scored on a wild pitch by Port Allen’s Donald Vance.
The Pelicans’ only run of the day came in the fourth inning when Kevin Ransom hit an RBI double to left field. Port Allen fell to 4-10 and 0-6.
“They’re a good ballclub,” Port Allen coach Leroy Thompson said. “There’s nothing we can take away from them. They are as good as their record shows, and we’ll measure our success by improving every day. As long as we improve and get an opportunity to get out on the field and learn the positions and learn the sport of baseball, that’s what I measure our success by.”