GONZALES — To err may be human. But to make errors is downright costly in baseball.
And Catholic High made East Ascension pay on Thursday night.
Four errors helped break open a close game as Catholic notched an 8-1 victory over East Ascension in a District 5-5A opener played Thursday night at EAHS’ Johnny Ambeau Park.
“The team that’s able to make the most plays through the game usually wins it,” Catholic coach Brad Bass said. “Both pitchers threw great games. Their guy did a good job of keeping us off balance early.
“We were able to make it a simple the game of pitch and catch. Credit Cole Johnson, Brandon Fairbanks and Josh Smith for being able to get some bunts down. That made a difference. So did our pitching and defense.”
It was the 13th straight win for the Bears (18-4, 1-0), who finished with nine hits. Center-fielder Patrick Crifasi, the No. 9 hitter, finished 2-for-2 with a double and three runs scored. The teams meet again at 1 p.m. Saturday at Catholic.
The pitching of Brady Hebert (4-0) also was impressive. Hebert scattered four hits and struck out five in six innings. Tyler Suire retired the Spartans in order in the bottom of the seventh to close out the game.
“I had really good command today … it was mostly my fastball,” Hebert said. “The guys with the bats got it going in the third inning. After that, I just focused in.
Austin McInnis (4-2) gave up five hits and struck out six in five innings. The Spartans (10-10, 0-1) committed errors in three straight innings that helped the Bears build a 6-1 advantage. Ryan Williams was 2-for-3 at the plate for the Spartans.
“I thought Austin threw well,” EAHS coach Britt Waguespack said. “He was throwing all three pitches for strikes. It was one of his best outings. They had a few hits with nobody on and we had our chances to get out of those innings.
“We kicked it around a little bit and that’s going to happen with sophomores and we play several. I like this group. We’ll go at them again on Saturday.”
Catholic scored twice in the top of the third. Second baseman Will Etheridge tripled and scored on a ground out by catcher Brennan Lambert. Crifasi walked, stole second and scored when Fairbanks reached on an error.
East Ascension scored its only run in the bottom half of the inning. Noah Fontenot singled and later scored on a ground out by Reese Hebert.
The Bears kept the pressure on. Daniel Guilbeau walked with one out in the fourth, stole second and scored when Etheridge reached on an error.
Bunts by Johnson, Fairbanks and Smith highlighted the three-run fifth for Catholic. Crifasi doubled to open the inning. Johnson reached on a bunt. An error allowed Crisfasi to score. Fairbanks then reached on a bunt. Smith’s bunt brought Johnson in to score and Fairbanks scored on a double by Guilbeau. Payton Alexander had an RBI hit in the seventh.
Hebert and Suire retired the final EAHS hitters in order.
“We’ve hit the ball well all year,” Catholic’s Smith noted. “Pitching and defense makes the difference.”