Flashes remain perfect|Prep baseball

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The habit of playing down to the level of its competition nearly bit St. Aloysius on Tuesday against West Lincoln.

Blake Haygood went 4-for-4 with a triple and six RBIs to pace St. Al to an 18-10 victory over West Lincoln at Bazinsky Field.

While Haygood had a career game, the rest of the Flashes were shaky against the Bears (3-7, 0-1 in Division 7-1A). St. Al coach Clint Wilkerson had to use three pitchers in the game and all three struggled, pitching behind in counts. Regan Nosser improved to 4-0, but he only lasted four innings and gave up four earned runs while striking out five. Reed Evans worked two-thirds of an inning in the fifth and Pierson Waring finished off the final 21⁄3.

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And while the Flashes (10-0, 3-0) put 18 runs on the board, the number of pop-fly outs against a less-than-stellar West Lincoln pitching staff galled Wilkerson.

“I’m really at a loss for words right now,”  Wilkerson said. “We let the game come to us and kind of sleepwalked through it. This isn’t St. Aloysius baseball.”

Ryno Martin-Nez made his return from knee surgery as a pinch hitter in the fourth and he struck out to end the frame.

After the Flashes took a 1-0 lead in the first off a Stephen Evans’ RBI groundout, the Bears tied the game off a Sawyer Pepper RBI single in the top of the second to tie the contest.

In the St. Al second, back-to-back errors put two on for Waring, who ripped a double into the outfield to plate two runners. Haygood drove in his first run with a single, but the Flashes were unable to land the knockout blow despite loading the bases.West Lincoln pitcher Tyler Case (1-3) got two flyouts to escape further damage with St. Al up 4-1.

The Bears scratched across another run off a wild pitch by Nosser to close the gap in the third and tied the contest in the fourth. Jay Case singled with one out and Tyler Case pulled the Nosser offering over the left-field wall for a two-run blast.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Flashes put together a huge rally. Reed Evans lanced an RBI double right over the shortstop’s head and four bases-loaded walks added more carnage on the scoreboard. Haygood cleared the bases in his second trip to the batter’s box in the frame by rapping a deep liner off the centerfield wall for a triple, Stephen Evans drove in Haygood off a frozen rope ripped through the gap and Reed Evans notched his second RBI of the inning off another double as St. Al owned a commanding 13-4 advantage.

“This year, I’ve definitely felt it (my hitting) has come around,” Haygood said. “Last year, I started a little iffy, but I finished up strong and I felt it’s carried over to this year.”

But the Bears refused to go quietly into the night.

Pepper plated a run off a single after St. Al reliever Reed Evans gave up a walk and a single to start the fifth. Tyler Case, with two outs and two on, did the unthinkable as he pulled a Reed Evans pitch over the left-field fence to cut the St. Al lead to five runs and end Reed’s night on the hill. Waring came into finish off the side and quell the rally.

The Flashes put the game out of reach in the fifth and the sixth. Haygood capped his night in the St. Al fifth with a two-RBI single after Waring doubled home a run. Matthew Foley doubled home a pair in the sixth to complete the scoring for St. Al.

Contact Steve Wilson at swilson@vicksburgpost.com