Fontenot powers Iowa to victory, goes 5-for-5 in mercy-rule win

Rodrick Anderson

SULPHUR — Iowa’s Gavin Fontenot might be the smallest player on the field, but he has plenty of firepower in his powerful frame.

The senior center fielder went 5-for-5, accounting for nearly half of the Yellow Jackets’ hits in a 13-3 six-inning win over No. 28 Bossier Tuesday at McMurry Park in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Fontenot drove in three runs, scored two, along with a double and four stolen bases.

“I just felt good,” Fontenot said. “We came off a hot game with St. Louis and were ready to go in the playoffs.

“We have been practicing all week. It is just reps. Coach (Daniel Hennigan) has been preaching the same thing all year: keep doing what he says and keep listening, and sooner or later it is going to work out for you.”

Fontenot also had a walk-off hit with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule.

“He is a yes-sir guy,” Hennigan said. “It is always ‘Yes sir,’ and he does it.

“That goes a long way. He is one of the most steady, quiet workers that I have ever been around offseason or in season. He loves baseball and he loves his teammates. Very fitting (that he got the last at-bat). That is baseball, right. Good things happen to people who deserve it.”

The Yellow Jackets were coming off a 9-6 win over Division II No. 2 St. Louis Catholic to finish the regular season and got off to a hot start, taking a 7-0. Bossier pulled within 9-3 with two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, but the Yellow Jackets finished strong with four runs in the sixth inning.

“(Bossier’s Coleman Beeson) is a quality pitcher,” Hennigan said. “We came out and scratched a few early. It faded a little bit, but that is going to happen against anybody.

“You drift away a little bit, and you reset and make the adjustments and go back and try to improve.”

Iowa (18-14) will host No. 12 Buckeye (16-12) in the regional round in a best-of-three series.

“This is the toughest week of the year,” Hennigan said. “I think we have had a fairly tough schedule, and now it is for sure.

“I think if we play the game the right way and play for 21 innings, I think we have as good of a shot as anybody. There is no room to fade in the second round.”

Iowa starting pitcher Caiden Fontenot held the Bearcats to three hits over five innings and struck out eight batters, including five straight from the second to the third inning.

Gavin Fontenot drove in the game’s first run with a single in the bottom of the first inning, and Cameron Lavergne added an RBI double for a 3-0 lead.

Iowa scored all four of its sixth-inning runs with two outs starting with Jacob Kershaw’s RBI double. Iowa picked up a run on an error, and Cade Labruyere and Gavin Fontenot closed out the game with back-to-back RBIs.

Iowa 13

Bossier 3, 6 inns.

Bossier 000 210—3-3-8

Iowa 341 104—13-11-1

PITCHING: W — Caiden Fontenot. L — Coleman Beeson.

TOP HITTERS: Bossier — Coleman Beeson 1-3 (run, RBI). Iowa — Cade Labruyere 2-5 (run, 2 RBIs), Gavin Fontenot 5-5 (2 runs, 3 RBIs, double).

RECORDS: Bossier — 8-18. Iowa — 18-14.””

Iowa’s Gavin Fontenot stands on second base with a double during a Class 3A bi-district playoff game against Bossier Tuesday at McMurry Park in Sulphur. Fontenot was 5-for-5 with four stolen bases and three runs scored.

Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press

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