Chaos ensues in third inning of St. Mary’s battle with Westlake

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Ethan Busby connects

Saint Mary’s faced off against the 3-A Westlake Rams from Lake Charles Saturday afternoon at home in their second game of the Many tournament. Patrick Vienne had pitching duties and sat down the first three batters in order. In the bottom of the first inning, the Tigers strand two runners and are unable to score.

The Rams start the second inning with a walk and a hit batter by Vienne. Drake Griffin behind the plate gets the lead off runner trying to steal third and Vienne gets out the inning giving up no runs. Drake Griffin leads off the bottom of the frame with a lead off double. A well-executed sacrifice bunt by Jeffery Townsend advances Griffin to third with no outs. Mixon Bankston strikes out before Payne Williams triples down the first base line.

In the Weekend, March 20-21, 2021, print edition
Natchitoches Wood

The RBI triple produces the only score of the inning as the Tigers stranded another base runner. Chaos ensues in the top of the third inning. Vienne allows a base on balls and that runner advances to second on steal. #10 for the Rams goes down looking at a called strike three and must have argued the call or mouthed some expletives. He is ejected from the game along with a couple of fans and one of the coaches.

The ugly event is further magnified when Vienne unintentionally hits the next batter in the box. That puts runners in scoring position with two outs. Patrick settles in and strikes out #2 to end the crazy top of the third as the Rams strand two base runners. A disgruntled Ram parent pulls their son from centerfield as middle inning pandemonium continues. Patrick Vienne answers the calamity of the previous events with a lead off home run off the first pitch he sees. Graeme Fidelak reaches base and Slaughter lays down a bunt that turns into a triple on the error throw. Saint Mary’s plates four runs in the inning.

The top of the fourth inning and the Ram’s have a base runner in a hit batter. A ground ball single after a strike out gives Westlake two on with one out. A sacrifice fly advances the runner two third, placing runners at the corners with two outs. Patrick Vienne strikes out the next batter and the Rams strand two. In the bottom of the frame, Saint Mary’s goes to work again. Bankston walks to lead things off. Williams grounds into a double play and the Tigers have two outs.

Ethan Busby beats out a throw to first and the Tigers are still battling to keep things alive. Vienne follows with a single putting runners on first and third. A pitch in the dirt scores Busby and Vienne advances to third. Fidelak walks and then Slaughter doubles on a full count scoring two. The Tigers jump out to a 7-0 lead through four innings with the two-out rally. The Rams are able to load the bases in the top of the fifth, but Vienne strikes out three to escape any damage. Saint Mary’s adds two runs in the bottom of the frame to make it a 9-0 contest. Nathan Slaughter starts on the mound in the sixth.

He allows one base runner that the Ram’s are unable to score. The Tigers are unable to add any additional runs in the inning and Ethan Busby finishes the game on the mound for St. Mary’s. Busby strikes out the last batter for the game and the Westlake Rams stand two more runners. The final 9-0 closes out the successful weekend for Saint Mary’s.