St. Augustine was one out from beating Shaw in their first meeting March 22, only to see the Eagles rally for four runs to tie the score in the seventh and win in the eighth.
The Purple Knights made sure that didn’t happen in the rematch at Shaw on Tuesday, taking an 11-1, five-inning victory shortened by the 10-run rule.
It was the Knights’ first District 9-5A victory since before Hurricane Katrina, coach Brian Sims said, and the first district win since it played in Class 4A during the 2014 season.
“The kids never quit working,” Sims said. “Dwayne (McGill) had a dominating performance, keeping them off-balance, and we made plays behind him and hit the ball well.”
Dwayne McGill (2-3), a sophomore, allowed one run on four hits for St. Augustine (10-14-1, 1-8), which had three sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup. Shaw (8-14, 3-5) had won its previous two Catholic League games, against Rummel and Brother Martin.
The Knights banged out 11 hits. They made it a five-inning game when center fielder Darryl Landry beat out an infield hit with two outs, enabling second baseman Carnell Carter to score from third in the top of the fifth. McGill then sat the Eagles down in order in the bottom of the inning.
St. Augustine scored 10 runs in the first three innings against Eagles starter Corey Nini, taking command with a stunning five-run first inning in which it batted around. The Knights had four hits two walks and a hit batsman.
The biggest blow, however, came on third baseman Andrew Sceau’s forceout to second base. As Shaw was attempting a double play that would have ended the inning, two St. Aug runners – courtesy runner Jordan Vadito and Carter - scored, giving the Knights a 4-0 lead.
The Knights scored four in the second. Designated hitter Justice McCoy and Carter reached on hits around a walk to McGill, loading the bases. Two outs and a run later, catcher Jude Luke blooped a single over the head of Shaw first baseman Keith Meier, bringing in McGill and Carter. Center fielder Darryl Landry followed with a single to center, scoring courtesy runner Eddie Davis.
In the third, Carter, who had walked, scored when Luke was hit by a pitch with two out, giving St. Aug a 10-0 lead.
Shaw scored its only run in the bottom of the fourth. Catcher Matt Keller led off with a double and came home when right fielder Josh Pentola was caught in a run down off first base.