Jesuit designated hitter Austin North had been struggling some at the plate, but that changed Wednesday afternoon.
North droved in all three Jesuit runs as the Blue Jays earned a 3-2 win over Lutcher in a nondistrict game at John Ryan Stadium.
“This was our sixth game in four days, so it’s been a grind,” Jesuit coach Joey Latino said. “It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but these are the kinds of games that you have to grind it out. I’m proud of my boys because we were able to win it late.”
With the score tied at 2 in the bottom of the seventh, Brandon Briuglio, who finished 2-for-3 with a walk, opened the inning with a double down the right field line. Hayden Fuentes walked to put two on, but the Bulldogs threw out the lead runner on Stephen Sepcich’s bunt. North came to the rescue when he hit a game-winning double over the center fielder’s head.
“Coach told me before the game to just stay up the middle because I’ve been struggling a little bit, so that’s what I tried to do,” North said. “I got a good pitch, and I just swung. We’ve been playing well, but we have a big challenge with the games coming up. We’re looking forward to it.”
Jesuit reliever Lee Blosser (3-0) got the win by pitching a scoreless seventh. Chris Beebe pitched four innings of scoreless relief, allowing three hits and two walks. He struck out two.
The teams traded runs in the first inning. The Bulldogs scored on back-to-back-to-back singles by Luke Zeringue, Cameron Guillot and Peyton Bourgeois before a bases loaded popup ended the inning.
The Blue Jays (11-2) responded by loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the first and scored a run on North’s groundout before the start of a 1-hour, 24-minute lightning delay.
When the game resumed in the second, the Bulldogs scored an unearned run with two outs on a walk, error and Guillot RBI single. The Blue Jays tied it in the third as Briuglio scored on North’s two-out RBI single.
The Bulldogs (3-8) threatened in the fifth and sixth innings, but each time poor bunts or base running mistakes killed the rallies. Lutcher coach Davey Clement said his team just needs to work on the little things.
“It’s all about execution,” he said. “They executed, and we didn’t. That was about it. Our pitcher was good enough to win, but it comes down to leaving a runner on second all night, we need to get that monkey off our back. We’ve done that way too many times this season, but we played with intensity.”
Latino said the Blue Jays are still working on the little things as well.
“We’re still a work in progress,” he said. “Our record is solid, but that’s not what we’re concerned with. We know there are still areas that we can improve on, and that’s our focus. We want to improve a little bit every day.”