Last Modified: Friday, August 03, 2012 10:52 PM
WACO, Texas — As the South Lake Charles Little League 12-year-old all-stars took the field at Norcross Stadium Friday evening, a surprisingly strong wind was gusting from center field directly toward home plate.
Louisiana slugger Nate Briscoe never noticed it.
Briscoe was 2-for-2, hit a pair of three-run home runs and scored three times as SLC cruised to an 11-0 mercy-rule victory over New Mexico in the opening game of its Southwest Region Pool A game. Briscoe’s home runs, one to dead center field and one to deep left, highlighted an SLC offensive attack that struck for six extra-base hits. Kirkland Banks added a three-run homer and Bryan Lawrence went 3-for-3 and scored three times. The team also collected five walks, took advantage of two wild pitches, three passed balls and a hit batsman.
“This team has some good hitters, and when we are hitting the ball, we can produce results like we did tonight,” said SLC manager Fatcat Joubert. “It takes the pressure off of our pitchers and allows us to save our arms in case we need them down the road.”
Louisiana will play Mississippi at 5 p.m. Mississippi beat Arkansas 10-8 to open tournament play. Lawrence is expected to be the starting pitcher for SLC.
“We actually have a number of players that can pitch for us, and I have no problem giving any of them the ball,” Joubert said. “If we continue to hit like we did today, it is possible our pitchers may only throw 20 or so pitches and be replaced with another arm.”
Logan Guillory was the winning pitcher. He threw 50 pitches while allowing four hits and striking out five in 22⁄3 innings. But the tone for SLC may have been set with his performance in the top of the second inning. With SLC leading 3-0, New Mexico hitters Noah Martinez and Dillon Gassoway collected back-to-back hits to start the inning. With runners on second and third, Guillory struck out the next three batters to end the potential rally.
“I didn’t get rattled after the hits, I have been there before,” Guillory said. “When you are part of a team that hits the ball like we do, it makes it a lot easier to throw the pitches you need to throw. It was business as usual for us once we started scoring the runs.”
The SLC attack opened with Briscoe being hit by Gassoway to lead off the bottom of the first inning. Lawrence followed with a triple, and Banks gave SLC a 3-0 lead with a towering home run that New Mexico left fielder Nicholas Alderete simply turned and watched leave the stadium. Briscoe added the insurance runs with his blasts in the bottom of the second and third innings. Gassoway lasted one inning and suffered the loss.
“It was a great feeling to have a game like this, but once we hit the dugout it was over,” Briscoe said. “This game has already been washed from our minds and we are going to get ready for tomorrow’s game against Mississippi.”
Posted By: Herb Gonzalez On: 8/4/2012