Central Catholic jumped out to an early lead, and reliever Austin Autin slammed the door on a late H.L. Bourgeois rally Tuesday in Amelia.
Autin mowed down three straight batters in the seventh inning for a 7-5 CCHS win.
The Eagles took a 2-1 lead into the fourth inning before pushing across four runs on three hits to extend the lead to 6-1.
Nick Case opened the inning by reaching on an error before Dominick Guarisco walked. H.L. Bourgeois pulled lefty starter Randall Soileau after Guarisco’s base on balls, going to lefty Seth Grow.
Ridge Rousseau greeted Grow with a single to load the bases. The next batter, starting pitcher Bryson Barbier, skied a sacrifice fly to center field to score Case for a 3-1 lead.
After the Eagles’ base runners advanced to second and third on a Grow wild pitch, Josh Singleton knocked them home with a two-run single. That chased Grow, and HLB went to its third left-hander of the night, Hunter Neal.
Luke Landry doubled to left-center off Neal to push CCHS to a comfortable five-run lead.
“We started off a little sluggish tonight,” Central Catholic coach Tyler Jensen said after Tuesday’s game. “But in the fourth inning, we made an adjustment and started hitting the ball hard.”
Barbier opened the fifth inning with a walk to the speedy De’Andre Woods, prompting Jensen to bring in Nick Longman in relief.
On the night, Barbier tossed four innings and allowed one unearned run on two hits. He walked four and struck out five.
Longman gave up a hit and wild pitch but battled his way out of the inning without allowing a run. In the bottom of the fifth, Central Catholic added a run, but the Eagles left four runners on the base paths in two innings.
“We have to learn to put teams away when we get a big lead,” Jensen said. “We’re a young team, and we’re still learning. They also put in a kid that didn’t throw hard at all, and it gave us fits.”
Longman’s up and down night continued in the sixth as H.L. Bourgeois scored four runs on three hits on two CCHS errors to pull within two runs (7-5).
“Longman really didn’t pitch badly,” Jensen said. “We were kicking the ball around behind him, so it wasn’t the pitching.”
In two innings, Longman surrendered four runs (three earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out one.
CCHS faced the four, five and six batters in the HLB lineup in the seventh inning.
When Spencer LaJaunie walked to open the inning, CCHS went to Autin. He struck out Neal for the first out before fanning Marcus Bascle for the second out. Then, Autin forced Nick Bonvillain to pop out in foul territory to end the game.
In an inning of work, Autin struck out two.
At the plate, Rousseau led the way with a 2-for-3 performance with three runs scored and a stolen base, while Landry added a 1-for-3 performance with a double, two RBI and a walk.
Other CCHS offensive performers included Singleton, 1-for-3 with a run scored, two RBI, a walk and a stolen base; Barbier, 1-for-2 with an RBI and a sacrifice; Barron Courtney, a walk, an RBI, and was hit by a pitch; Eriq Blanchard, 1-for-4; Justin Arceneaux, 1-for-1; and Samuel Guarisco, a run scored and a stolen base.
CCHS returns to the diamond Friday in the Small Schools Tournament in Alexandria.