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Flashes sweep doubleheader from Park Place

St. Aloysius started a very busy week — and its final push toward the MAIS Class 4A baseball playoffs — exactly the way it wanted to.

Conner Paxton and Matthew Pitre both pitched five-inning, complete-game shutouts as the Flashes swept a doubleheader from Park Place Christian Academy 10-0 and 11-0 on Monday.

The sweep marked the start of a week in which St. Al (14-7, 4-5 MAIS District 3-4A) will play six games in five days. They will host Central Hinds Tuesday night, play at Park Place on Thursday, and then play a doubleheader at Central Hinds on Friday. St. Al also has a doubleheader against Simpson Academy that was postponed earlier this season, but that will likely not be rescheduled unless it is needed to determine playoff seeding.

St. Al’s sweep of Park Place (1-15) clinched a playoff berth for itself and put it in a position to earn a higher seed among the four District 3-4A playoff teams as the week progresses.

In game one Monday, Paxton allowed three hits and no walks, while striking out six in leading the Flashes to a 10-0 run-rule victory.

St. Al only had four hits, but took advantage of a string of missteps by Park Place to blow the game open early. Wes Warnock led off the game with a home run, and Park Place committed two errors and walked five batters to help stake the Flashes to a 6-0 lead at the end of one inning.

Jake Brister had an RBI single in the third inning as St. Al tacked on four more runs.
Park Place pitcher Ben Blaylock was roughed up for 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. He walked five batters and hit four, but only one of the 10 runs he allowed was earned.

In game two, St. Al put in a lot more of its own work as it finished with 13 hits in an 11-0 victory.

Adam Francisco went 3-for-4 with a double, triple and four RBIs, Warnock scored three runs, and Tristan Wilbanks was 2-for-2 with two RBIs. Carter Magee and Cole Autrey also drove in two runs apiece.

St. Al started the game with four straight singles, the last by Wilbanks that brought in two runs, to take a 4-0 lead. Francisco hit an RBI double in the fourth inning, and then the Flashes scored six more runs in the fifth to finish the game via the mercy rule. A two-run triple by Francisco brought in the final runs.

Pitre allowed only two hits and walked three in his complete-game win, and finished with six strikeouts.