GONZALES — It may be a while before East Ascension pitcher Austin McInnis eats again. He wouldn’t want to ruin his good luck.
The senior right-hander decided not to eat anything before going up against Central so he would be “hungry to play” on Tuesday night.
The Spartans won 1-0 with McInnis striking out 12 in a complete game performance — all on an empty stomach.
“Usually in the first inning, that’s when I give up walks and few base hits,” McInnis said. “Today, my pregame routine was a little different, I woke up different, I ate something different.
“I was just trying to do something not ordinary.”
East Ascension coach Britt Waguespack praised McInnis (3-1) for having his best outing of the season, while Central coach Mike Forbes simply called it “masterful.”
McInnis retired 21 of 25 batters on the Spartans’ home field, but twice worked himself into a jam in the latter innings, including walking consecutive batters with only one out and the score tied in the top of the sixth.
Waguespack made a trip to the mound but said it never crossed his mind to pull McInnis and was only making defensive adjustments for the upcoming hitters. McInnis finished with 94 pitches in his third complete game of the season.
“Everytime he’s thrown, he’s given us a chance to win,” Waguespack said. “He’s our guy. He’s our best right now.”
The game ended in a bit of confusion when East Ascension (8-4) finally took a lead in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a defensive interference call on Central (8-3) third baseman Tristan Tullier.
East Ascension’s Charles Stevens hit a shot to left field with two outs and two on, which was enough for Reese Hebert to try to score from second. It appeared Hebert was tagged out at home with both teams heading to the dugouts until the umpire ruled Tullier obstructed the base path and awarded the Spartans the go-ahead score.
Both coaches said they didn’t see the play.
“It was a lack of execution and a lack of offense,” Forbes said. “One call didn’t lose that game for us.”
Waguespack said, while he was happy to get the win, it was disappointing to see Central lose that way after how they played the rest of the game.
Central junior right-hander Makhail Hilliard — an LSU class of 2017 commitment — struck out six and allowed six hits through his 79-pitch, complete-game showing.
“If that call doesn’t happen, I think this game goes on to about 11 o’clock at night,” Waguespack said. “You never want to win a game like that, but after what we’ve been through with the weather — we haven’t swung a bat in five days because of the flooding — we’ll put that one in the win column and take it.”