The most important thing for West Feliciana pitcher Trey Morgan heading into Wednesday’s game against University Lab was to make sure certain parts of his game-day “ritual” were ready after rain postponed the matchup from its original Tuesday date.
The Saints ace has to wear his lucky red, white and blue boxers and American flag socks in every game as part of his ritual.
And while there’s no definitive proof his patriotic ensemble had any effect on his performance, it was clear something was working in Morgan’s favor as he threw a complete game for a 5-3 win against West Feliciana’s District 7-3A rival.
Morgan allowed only five hits and one earned run while striking out five Cubs (16-10, 4-3) and walking one — a performance West Feliciana coach Mark Lester said was crucial for the Saints to have any hope of pulling out the victory.
Morgan’s day would have been more impressive if not for a U-High rally in the final inning, when the Cubs produced a pair of two-out, RBI doubles off the center field wall.
“I kind of got tired and had a lack of concentration there in the last inning,” Morgan said. “I just threw strikes, put the ball in play and let my teammates work behind me.”
The late scare was one of the few blemishes Morgan had on the day, something he credited to the comfortable lead his offense gave him early.
The Saints (11-12, 4-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when center fielder Gage Tygres launched a solo homer over the right field wall.
“Once one of us starts hitting, we all come alive,” Tygres said of his team’s early output. “The first changeup he threw was low and in the dirt, and when I heard the catcher creep up behind me and saw it was high, I just went for it.”
The West Feliciana bats piled it on U-High pitcher Jacob McCain (3-4) in the second inning, when they put together three runs on as many hits, highlighted by third baseman Dylan Roark’s two-RBI single down the third base line to score Ryan Reed and Will Cupit.
The Cubs responded with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning as BJ Smothers scored from third on a passed ball. But after that, the offense dried up until the seventh inning.
“Unfortunately, (the Saints) were ready to hit (Wednesday), and they put some swings on (McCain),” said U-High coach Justin Morgan. “Those first two innings, it was tough for us to get going. When you fall down 4-0 with a good arm like (Morgan) has, that makes it really tough, too.”
Thursday’s games, track notes
The threat of more rain Thursday could alter the baseball schedule, pushing some games back at least one day. One key game originally scheduled for Tuesday, St. Thomas Aquinas at Runnels in District 7-2A, is set for 4 p.m. ThuRsday.
Dunham is scheduled to Redemptorist in a battle of 6-2A unbeatens at 6:30 p.m. However, the game could be moved to Dunham. In District 5-5A, St. Amant is scheduled to host rival East Ascension also at 6:30 p.m. Also scheduled for Thursday is Catholic High’s Grizzly Relays. Field events are set for 3:30 p.m., followed by running events at 5:30 p.m.
Teams entered include the host Bears, Broadmoor, Baton Rouge High, Episcopal, Parkview Baptist, Scotlandville, Southern Lab, St. Michael and University.
Check out photos of area athletes who signed scholarships in a variety of sports on Wednesday at www.theadvocate.com.
Signees whose photos won’t appear until Thursday include Ascension Catholic golfer Tucker Landry, who signed with Loyola-New Orleans as well as basketball players Jasmine Mosby of East Iberville (Delgado Community College), University’s Mikayla Bates (Xavier-New Orleans) and former Redemptorist player Seth Jackson of Baton Rouge Communuty College (Xavier).