Iowa wins with seven-run second, Fontenot double sparks outburst
WESTLAKE — Gavin Fontenot delivered the key hit in the second inning, and pitcher Cameron Lavergne closed the door on Westlake as Iowa rolled to a 12-3 District 4-3A win Tuesday night.
With two outs in the bottom of the second after the Rams turned a 1-2-3 double play, Fontenot launched a double to right-center field that brought home Koltin LeBleu and Landon Langley for the Yellow Jackets’ first lead, 5-3.
“That is a perfect example of somebody who knows his role and tries to gradually get better each game,” Iowa head coach Daniel Hennigan said. “He buys into an at-bat, he buys into his approach and his role over and over again. I think that is a classic example if you try to do things the right way, then good things will happen.”
Fontenot’s big hit was part of a seven-run inning, including six with two outs. Lavergne (2-2) and Ross Denison each hit a two-RBI single in the second inning.
After allowing three runs in the first two innings, Lavergne pitched four scoreless innings to earn the win, and Ross Denison pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
“Early in the game has gotten (Lavergne) a few times,” Hennigan said. “But I am super pumped that he didn’t panic.
“We kind of changed how we were throwing some pitches, and he went from really in a bind early, as far as the pitch out goes, to being able to stay in the game and really give us a chance.”
Iowa (12-9, 3-2) extended its win streak to three games. The Yellow Jackets will face Westlake again on Tuesday.
“There are no state championships in March or February,” Hennigan said. “Our goal is just to get a little bit better as we go. Wherever that takes us, that takes us.”
Westlake (16-6, 2-3) started strong with back-to-back two-out singles by Dylan Perkins and Kane Gill to take a 2-0 lead.
After a two-run home run by Iowa’s Dezmon Dugas tied the score in the bottom of the first inning, the Rams took back the lead in the second on an RBI single by Brady Pederson. But Westlake struggled on the mound, issuing nine walks and hitting five batters.
“There is not a team in our district that you can give 14 free bases to and expect it to be a close ballgame in the seventh,” Westlake head coach Blake Reed said.
The Rams lost their third consecutive game since starting district play 2-0.
“We have to get back to our identity,” Reed said. “We have to play seven innings of clean baseball, and we have to grind through it.
“I counted eight fly-ball outs today. That is not who we are. We are a line-drive, ground-ball team, beat it out, steal some bags and put pressure on you. We are not putting pressure on people right now.”
Westlake 210 000 0—3-4-0
Iowa 270 003 x—12-9-0
PITCHING: W — Cameron Lavergne. L — Gunner Thornton.
TOP HITTERS: Westlake — Kane Gill 2-3 (RBI). Iowa — Dezmon Dugas 2-4 (2 runs, 2 RBIs, double, HR), Cameron Lavergne 2-4 (run, 2 RBI).
RECORDS: Westlake — 16-6, 2-3. Iowa — 12-9, 3-2.
Iowa’s Dezmon Dugas celebrates his two-run home run in the first inning against the Rams in a District 4-3A game Tuesday in Westlake.
The Rams’ Connor Dickerson stretches for a ball in foul territory against Iowa Tuesday in Westlake.