(Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 10:04 AM
Johnny Andrus stepped off the bench to give the Oberlin Tigers a big hit, and control of the District 5-1A baseball race, in a 6-1 win over Hamilton Christian Tuesday in Lake Charles.
Andrus delivered a two-run, pinch-hit single in Oberlin’s three-run fifth inning, which broke a 1-1 tie. Oberlin starter Mark Fontenot (6-2) took care of the rest, throwing a complete-game three-hitter, driving in a run and scoring another.
Fontenot struck out five and held Hamilton scoreless over the final six innings.
The Warriors (10-6, 3-2) took a brief 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, when Jacob Fontenot beat the throw home on an Erik Parker grounder.
Oberlin (10-10, 5-1) tied the score in the next inning when Jordy Pitre singled, stole second and scored on a single by Trace Joubert.
The Tigers scored five runs over the fifth and sixth innings to blow the game open. They need one win in their remaining three district games to clinch the title. Hamilton could have tied for the lead with a win.
“It is a really big win for us, but the work isn’t done. We still have to win one more to clinch district,” said Tigers head coach Ben Harrington.
“Hamilton has a good team. It is pretty big for us to come here and pull away with the game. Mark is a battler, every single pitch, every single out, he gives you his best. We struggled offensively early, we tried some things with runners on third, we kept pressing and finally got the big hit from Johnny Andrus. It was the biggest hit of his life, I’m sure.”
Harrington said he likes the way his team steps up in high-stakes games.
“Big games, my guys show up,” he said. “If you look at our schedule, we played big-time teams all year. By they time we got to district we had been in the fire, so it was nothing new. Our pitching and defense has been well. It has been a team effort.”
Joubert had two hits and scored a run for Oberlin.
Parker had two of Hamilton’s three hits.
“It was a pitching duel just like last game,” said Hamilton head coach Ben Daugherty. “It was the same two pitchers (Fontenot and Hamilton’s Julien Marcantel) and they both did a heck of a job. They just hit the ball a little better than us. Fontenot was throwing it hard and we are not used to seeing that. They were making plays behind him. Marcantel (0-2) was hitting his spots. His curveball was good and he has a two-seamer that is filthy.”