Error-prone Gators drop one to Menard|[03/15/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 15, 2008

MONROE — Vicksburg had five extra base hits, including three home runs, but it wasn’t enough to overcome 10 free passes by its pitchers and five defensive errors in Friday’s 11-8 loss to Holy Savior of Menard on the second day of the Chevron/Ouachita Tournament.

Menard (2-11) won the Louisiana Class 2A title last year. The Alexandria-based school used fundamental baseball to hand the Gators (7-4) their second straight loss in the Monroe tournament.

“What we strive for at Menard is textbook baseball,” Eagles coach Jeff Adams said. “First, we want to play defense. Second, we want to pitch well and third, we want timely hitting. That’s what we’re about. We’re not going to overpower you.”

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Steps one and two is something VHS coach Jamie Creel wants to see more of out of his team.

“Our effort on defense is not where it needs to be. We’re not showing the fortitude to make plays on defense. We’re a little soft right now,” Creel said.

On Thursday, the Gators blew a 7-0 lead against Captain Shreve and went on to lose 15-10.

“The same thing happened today like what happened Thursday. We walked folks, had some errors and that led to some big innings,” Creel said. “Our pitching was awful. You can’t walk leadoff hitters.”

Gator starter Jacob Thomas hit the first two batters to start the Menard third inning. That set up a five-run outburst to put the Eagles up 5-0. Menard had just two infield hits, but three VHS errors and three passed balls chased home the runs.

The Gators came back to tie the game at 5 after Ryan Ferrington tripled and scored in the third inning, and Blake Hynum and Stanton Price launched a pair of two-run home runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Menard untied it on a two-run homer by Jonathan Bratton in the fifth. Kurt Cooksey ripped a solo shot for the Gators to make it 7-6 after five innings, but Menard scored two runs in the sixth for a 9-6 lead.

Vicksburg got two back off an RBI double from Price and Menard’s only error of the game. The Gators’ fifth error and three walks by reliever Blake Tarnabine chased in the last two runs for Ouachita.

Bratton got the win with three innings of middle relief while Alex Smith pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for the save. Thomas (1-1) gave up nine runs off seven hits, four walks and three hit batsmen.

Ouachita 12, WC 2

Caleb Kennedy slugged a grand slam to highlight an eight-run second inning for Ouachita Parish (8-6) in a game called after four innings because of threatening weather.

Justin Guy picked up the win for the Lions while Keaton Sanders took the loss for the Vikings (3-6).

Jonathan Longmire had a double and scored for WC.