BRUSLY — It’s the kind of stuff baseball legends are made of. But Hunter Gonzales was just happy to get the win for West Feliciana.
The junior came on in relief for the first time in a varsity game with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.
Poised and armed with a fastball and a curveball, he struck out the No. 2 and No. 3 hitters to preserve West Feliciana’s 9-8 victory over top-ranked Brusly in District 6-3A baseball action Saturday night BHS.
“I just threw it in there and tried to let them hit,” Gonzales said. “I came in and did my job.”
The win by the Saints (20-6, 6-2) tightens up the 6-3A race. Cody Trisler (5-1) pitched into the seventh Gonzales also helped stake WFHS to a 6-0 lead by going 2-for-2 with three runs. Designated hitter Trey Morgan was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBIs for the winners.
“(Gonzales) came to me in the fifth inning and said he was ready,” WFHS coach Gannon Achord said. “When a guy comes to me feeling that confident, I’m going to go with him. This (win) was huge for us.”
It was the first league loss for Brusly (29-2, 7-1). Austin Rivault finished 3-for-4 for the Panthers, who saw their 14-game winning streak end.
“I just talked about the first inning,” Brusly coach Tait Dupont said.
“We hit a batter, walked two and had an error. We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end, which is all you can ask for. But if we don’t make mistakes early, it could have been different.”
The Saints loaded the bases in the top of the first. Shortstop Ross Bujol beat out an infield hit. Gonzales, who started in center field, walked, and Morgan reached on an error.
Brusly starter Tod Gauthe (6-2) got a strikeout, but the floodgates slowly opened. Trisler was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Second baseman Dylan Roark followed with a two-RBI double to left. Third baseman Hayden Charlet walked to load the bases again for first baseman Terry Ferguson.
Instead of swinging away against reliever Tyler Theriot, Ferguson bunted to score another run. A sacrifice fly by Will Cupit scored the fifth run.
WFHS added another run in the second. Gonzales led off with a single and scored when Trisler lofted a fly ball to right that fell on the opposite side of BHS right-fielder John Blanchard.
Brusly scored with two outs in the third. Shortstop Evan Daigle walked, stole second and scored on a single by Blanchard. The Saints got that run right back. Gonzales doubled and scored on a triple by Morgan.
An RBI hit by second baseman Rivault got Brusly another run in the fourth. The Panthers got single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, too.
A two-run double by Morgan made it 9-3. Catcher Connor Manola’s two-RBI single and an RBI single by Daigle were the key hits before Gonzales came on.