For the first two games of their Class 5A state regional series Hahnville either got out to an early lead or managed to keep Catholic High at arm’s length.
That resulted in a series split with the Bears becoming the aggressor and eventually the winner in the best-of-three format.
No. 4 Catholic took advantage of a pair of unearned runs in the second inning and extended that margin to five runs an inning later to eliminate No. 13 Hahnville 5-1 on Tuesday at Grizzly Field.
“I thought their hitters were a lot more aggressive tonight,” Hahnville coach David Baudry said. “Pitches that they took the first two games, they hit today. They really turned it around and did a nice job and attacked our fastballs, which they didn’t really do in the first two games.”
Hahnville (25-11) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the series, defeating Catholic 4-1 on Friday before the Bears answered Saturday with a 4-2 victory.
Because of inclement weather the series stood idle for three days when Catholic (26-6), the state runner-up a year ago, piled up 12 hits to back the two-hit pitching of Parker Evans (6-0).
“We knew we had to do it,” Catholic coach Brad Bass said. “Those guys put incredible pressure on you, especially if it’s tied or a one-run game. We knew we had to get a quick lead and fill up the strike zone, and Parker was awesome.”
Hahnville wasn’t as sharp defensively, opening the door for Catholic’s 2-0 lead with two unearned runs in the second.
A throwing error resulted in two bases for lead-off batter Connor Bowen. After being initially held up at third on Will Ethridge’s single, Bowen scored when the ball got away left fielder Pat Phelan. Cole Johnson doubled home Patrick Crifasi with two outs.
Catholic’s defense took Hahnville out of a scoring opportunity in the top half of the inning when Evans picked Wade Orgeron off of second. Crifasi was then sent back to the wall in center to rob Peyton Keller of a potential home run.
Catholic distanced itself with a three-run fifth inning, knocking losing pitcher Bryce Hardis out of the game following a two-run home run by LSU signee Josh Smith.
By that time the Bears had exceeded their total hits (eight) than in any of their two previous games.
Hardis allowed five hits, four runs (two earned), while Lloyd Landry and Hunter Perrin finished up in relief.
Evans yielded two hits, including Orgeron’s run-scoring double in the fifth inning. He walked two and struck out five.
“We set a goal to win a district championship and be in the top eight,” Baudry said. “I’m proud of them. They did everything that I asked them to do: to prepare and compete. That’s all you can ask these kids to do.”