Flashes rally to stay unbeaten

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 17, 2010

LAKE — For the first time this season, St. Aloysius found itself trailing in a game during the late innings Tuesday.

A few big hits and a strong finishing kick by Regan Nosser later and the Flashes were on more familiar ground.

Pierson Waring drove in the go-ahead runs with a double in the bottom of the sixth inning and Nosser capped a complete game by retiring the side in the seventh as St. Al beat Louisville 8-6 at the Spring Break Rush Classic tournament at Lake High School.

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Waring and Blake Haygood scored two runs apiece for St. Al. Haygood hit his first high school home run, a solo shot in the fourth inning.

St. Al improved to 8-0 this season and has won 12 consecutive games going back to last year’s playoffs. The last three victories have come against Class 4A schools, and St. Al can make it four in a row by beating Southeast Lauderdale this afternoon in the tournament finale.

“We’re just finding ways to get it done, one pitch at a time,” St. Al coach Clint Wilkerson said. “It’s a tribute to the guys. They’re getting it done every day. We beat one team and it’s just like, ‘bring on the next guy.’”

In addition to its perfect record, St. Al has rarely trailed this season. It has been only behind at the end of three of the 49 innings it has played. Two of those came on Tuesday.

Louisville jumped ahead 4-0 on Blake Cunningham’s grand slam in the first inning. St. Al tied it with two runs in the first and two more in the second. Louisville also led 6-5 after five innings, with Cory Goodin’s RBI single putting the Wildcats (6-6) back in front.

Again, it took the Flashes two innings to erase the deficit. They didn’t score in the fifth, then pieced together a rally in the sixth.

Judson Gatling led off with a walk and Brendan Beesley reached on catcher’s interference to set the stage for Waring. He chopped a ball over the head of Louisville third baseman Charles Cistrunk, bringing in both runners and giving St. Al its first lead of the game. Waring moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-6.

“I knew we were in trouble, but I was never nervous. I was confident,” Nosser said. “We’re just playing good.”

Nosser allowed a leadoff single to Evan Humphries in the seventh, then sandwiched two strikeouts around a deep flyout to center by David McAdory to end the game. He allowed six hits and put runners on base in all but one inning, yet worked out of nearly every jam with minimal damage. Nosser (3-0) finished with 11 strikeouts and only walked one batter after the first inning.

“He just did an unbelievable job of competing. He got out of a lot of jams,” Wilkerson said. “He didn’t pitch at all last year and he’s getting better every game.”

Contact Ernest Bowker at ebowker@vicksburgpost.com