Gerry L. Dickert
The Port Arthur News
PORT NECHES —
Logan Ashworth came to bat four times and four times the Port Neches-Groves junior struck out. On his fifth trip to the plate, he didn’t.
Ashworth slapped a first-pitch, 11th-inning walk-off home run to lead the Indians past Nederland 2-1 in a District 20-4A showdown at the Reservation on Friday night.
Not only did Ashworth win the game at the plate, he earned the victory on the mound, throwing five strikeouts and allowing two hits to close out a masterful performance on the hill for the Tribe.
“I’m happy for him,” Coach Mark Brevell said. “He had a few chances with runners in scoring position earlier in the game and he couldn’t get them across. You like to see a kid get another chance to be successful and that’s what he did with that last at-bat.”
The Indians collected 17 strikeouts as a team with middle reliever Lance LeDoux throwing seven and starter Ryan Leckich hurling five.
“I can’t say enough about them,” Brevell said. “Each one of them gave everything they had. I didn’t know how long this game was going to go, but I knew our guys were going to work until the very end.”
The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Kaleb Clark crossed the plate on a throwing error by Nederland. With Dillon Hebert on second after being hit by a pitch and stealing second, Clark singled to right to put runners at the corners.
Ky Walker laid down a sacrifice bunt for the Indians to try to plate Hebert, but the throw was in time, leaving Walker at first and Clark at third. With Dylan Saatzer at the plate, Walker attempted a steal, drawing a throw from the Nederland catcher, enabling Clark to make his way from third for the 1-0 lead.
Nederland came right back in the top of the fourth to tie the game when Jordan Wood and Carson Raines earned back-to-back walks. Wood eventually made his way to third on a fielder’s choice by Tyler Spell. A throwing error allowed Woods to cross the plate for the tie game.
Nederland’s Raines threw 7.1 innings, striking out 11 along the way, allowing five hits. The Bulldogs managed just three hits in the game.
With the win, PN-G improves to 8-9 overall and 3-1 in district play, while Nederland falls to 13-3-2 and 3-1. Lumberton remained undefeated in league play at 4-0 after a 1-0 win over Livingston on Friday night.
The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday at home when they face district foe Ozen at 7 p.m., while PN-G travels to Vidor for a 7 p.m. first pitch on Tuesday.