Holy Cross defeated Lakeshore 7-2 in a game that was part of a Tigers baseball tournament Saturday at Mike Miley Playground in Metairie.
“We came out and ran the bases extremely well,” Holy Cross coach Cass Hargis said. “(Pitcher) Brenden (Taravella) filled up the strike zone, and we made plays defensively.”
Holy Cross improved to 7-5, while Lakeshore dropped to 5-7.
The Tigers broke the game open early by scoring four runs in the second inning and then adding two more in the third. The bottom of the order did most of the damage for Holy Cross. Seven- and eight-hole hitters, Mickey Toscano and Trace Messina, had two-run singles in the second and third innings.
“We just try to put the ball in play and make their defense work,” Toscano said. “And when they make mistakes, we jump on them.”
Toscano drove in the first run in a second inning that saw seven straight Tigers reach base.
“That’s how we’ve been all year,” Hargis said. “Guys at the bottom of the order are stepping up at the plate. The guys in the middle of the order are getting on base, so that’s good to see.”
Taravella, the Tigers starter, pitched a complete game, giving up just two runs (one earned). Taravella struck out only one but got plenty of outs by pitching to contact and inducing ground balls and pop-ups.
“That was the objective,” Hargis said. “Make the other team hit it to us, catch it and throw them out. We did a good job of that.”
Taravella ran into trouble in the fifth inning when an error and a missed force play allowed Lakeshore to load the bases with none out. After a conversation with catcher Cole Nalesnik, Taravella settled down and regained control.
“(He told me to) just fill (the zone) up and let our defense work,” Taravella said. “He just reminded me of what I had been doing and kept me calm.”
Taravella retired the next three batters via a force-out at home, an RBI groundout and a fly out to end the inning.
“Getting out of an inning like that with only one run was a huge confidence boost for the whole team,” Taravella said.
Holy Cross later played its second game of the day against Northshore. Lakeshore’s next game will be March 14 against Terrebonne.