In a scoreless game after two innings, John Ehret’s offense came alive as the Patriots defeated Bonnabel 7-1 Thursday at the Ray St. Pierre Athletic Complex.
“We’ve actually played pretty good ball our last four or five games. I’ve been very, very pleased with the way the kids have played and battled,” Ehret coach Kenny Francingues said.
Bonnabel (12-15, 4-8) had its first and only lead in the top of the third inning. Kevin Alvarado walked to load the bases with one out. Then with a 3-2 count, Troy Lemoine hits a single that scored Semaj Franklin to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Ehret (13-17, 9-3 District 8-5A) then tied the game in its half of the third when Blaze D’Aquin flied out to right, and Jacob Snyder tagged up. The Patriots took the lead when Felix Cardenas’ single scored Warren Garret.
“We got a run here and a run there,” Francingues said. “Then you put a little pressure on them, and they made an error and that kind of opened up the floodgates.”
Ehret scored five more runs and outhit the Bruins 11-4. The Patriots had their best offensive performance in the fifth when they scored three runs on five hits.
“I was very pleased with the way my kids kept swinging the bat,” Francingues said. “The first two or three innings, we really didn’t make real good contact at all. All of a sudden, it just started coming together. Hitting is infectious. When one guy starts hitting, everybody will start hitting.”
Cardenas started on the mound for the Patriots and was relieved in the fifth by Josh Paolini. Cardenas struck out four, allowed three hits and walked four. He also went 3-for-3 with one run scored. Sidney Bernady’s sixth-inning single was the only Bonnabel hit against Paolini.
Daniel Cruz started for Bonnabel and was relieved by Alvarado in the sixth. Cruz struck out six, allowed six hits and walked three.
For Ehret, Snyder went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Devin Johnson went 2-for3 with one run scored.
Thursday was Senior Day at Ehret and those were some of the players who generated the offense.
“I was very pleased with a couple of my seniors, Devin Johnson, who’s played his last game today and Felix Cardenas. Both seniors did a great job for us. Blaze D’Aquin knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly. He’s another one of our seniors that’s leaving us. I’m very pleased. I think the seniors as a group contributed and did a real good job for us.”
Bonnabel coach Tommy Fugarino said not capitalizing on scoring chances hurt his team.
“We were trying to take the approach to hit the ball the other way,” he said. “We kept fouling at the plate. It just didn’t come through when we needed it. I think if we got a couple of runs in the first couple of innings, we had chances. We just couldn’t get it done.”
Despite the low offensive output, there were positives.
“I thought Daniel Cruz pitched really well,” he said. “We got people on early in the game. They did a good job of getting on.”