PORT NECHES —
One run games can break your heart.
Port Neches-Groves went through two in the past week. After falling 3-2 to arch-nemesis Nederland in 12 innings on Tuesday, the Indian baseball team saw a 1-0 win turn into a 2-1 loss.
Vidor’s Dalton Croft hit a two-run home run in the top of the fifth to beat PN-G in District 20-4A play at the Reservation.
“We just didn’t swing the bats,” PN-G head coach Mark Brevell said. “We still had a chance to win 1-0. One swing of the bat and they got a two-run home run to beat us. We have to get back to work.
“We have another game Monday, so we can’t dwell on this one. We just have to bounce back from this one. I don’t know that we bounced back very well from Tuesday night (against Nederland).”
One swing of the bat also changed PN-G starter Logan Ashworth’s day from a win to a loss. The junior was generally very good in the game, allowing two runs on two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in the game.
However, Ashworth walked a tight rope of effectiveness all game. Three times, Vidor hitters had balls either drop or hit off the glove of PN-G defenders for errors. If the defender doesn’t get there, those count as hits and Ashworth’s line is affected.
Similarly, Vidor had at least three long flyball outs that PN-G center fielder Kaleb Clark raced under in time for the catch. A little more oomph and those are home runs.
Yet, that’s what made Ashworth’s outing so effective. He survived a couple of scares and should have gotten out of the top of the fifth unscathed. With two outs in the inning, Vidor third baseman Paul Fregia lined a shot up the middle.
The Indian second baseman got a glove on the ball, but couldn’t come up with the catch for an error. One batter later, Croft ripped a pitch to left center field to give Vidor a 2-1 lead.
Freshman Ryan Leckich relieved Ashworth in the sixth inning, striking out two and walking one in two shutout innings.
“They pitched very well tonight,” Brevell said. “We’re kind of thin right now and we needed a good game on the mound. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the bats going to pick up a win for them. They pitched well enough to win.”
PN-G’s offense had plenty of opportunities to score, but struggled to get timely hits. The Indians had runners on second in five of the seven innings and picked up seven walks in the first six innings.
The biggest scoring threat for the Indians came in the bottom of the fourth. After leadoff hitter Brack Presley grounded out to second base to lead off the inning, the next three hitters drew walks.
Yancey Foster, Kaleb Clark and Corbin Coy loaded the bases for Ky Walker with one out. Walker was then hit by a pitch, driving in Foster to make it 1-0 PN-G.
The next two hitters, though, failed to score any more runs, after a strikeout and a grounder to third.
“We just didn’t swing the bats,” Brevell said. “We still had opportunities. We had runners at second and third and the bases loaded. At that time, we needed to get some runs in. We just couldn’t get the big hit. You have to give credit to the Vidor pitcher. He pitched a great game and kept us off-balance. Whenever we had runners in scoring position, he buckled down and got the big outs when he needed.”
Vidor’s Eric Foshe picked up the victory, keeping the Indians off-balance with his curveball. In 6 innings, Foshe allowed one hit and one run while walking seven and striking out eight. Catcher Colby Sciarilla was behind the plate for the first six innings before taking the mound as the closer to pick up the save.
PN-G’s Dillon Hebert was 1 for 4 with a double while teammate Mason Vizena was 1 for 2 with a double, two walks and a stolen base. Foster was 0 for 2 with a walk and a run scored.
PN-G (13-12, 8-4) will travel to Beaumont Ozen at 4:30 p.m. Monday in a game that was moved up due to testing.
Vidor 2, Port Neches-Groves 1
Vidor 000 020 0 — 2 2 0
PN-G 000 100 0 — 1 1 3
Eric Foshe, Colby Sciarilla (7) and Sciarilla, Jeremy Stevenson (7); Logan Ashworth, Ryan Leckich (6) and Yancey Foster. W — Foshe. L — Ashworth. S — Sciarilla.
Leading hitters: PN-G — Kaleb Clark 0-1, 2 BB; Mason Vizena 1-2, 2B, 2 BB, SB; Foster 0-2, BB, run scored. VIDOR — Dalton Croft 2-4, HR, 2 RBIs.
Records: PN-G (13-12, 8-4); Vidor (6-6).
Next: PN-G at Beaumont Ozen, 4:30 p.m. Monday.
PORT NECHES —
One run games can break your heart.
Foshee, Pirates too much for Bulldogs, 6-0
Eric Foshee was for sure the man Tuesday night for the Vidor Pirates against the Nederland Bulldogs.
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BEAUMONT — It may be just the second year of the program’s revival, but the Lamar softball team has already established a tradition: Winning the home opener on a walk-off home run.
Casey Cromwell’s three-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Lady Cardinals a 6-4 win over Southeastern Louisiana at Ford Park in the first home game of 2014 for Lamar and the Southland Conference opener for both squads.
Lamar, which won its first game last year over UTSA on a walk-off home run by Ashley McDowell, cruised to an 8-1 win over Southeastern Louisiana in Saturday’s nightcap.
“This is why I love playing at home,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “The fans really get us pumped up, and we respond.”
Cromwell hit two home runs in the opener for Lamar (5-9 overall, 2-0 Southland). Beverly Corry also homered for Lamar. Shannon Millman (3-5) was the winning pitcher for the Lady Cardinals in both games, working 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief in the first game before firing a three-hit gem in the nightcap.
“We got tremendous pitching for both Shannon and Tina (Schulz) today,” Bruder said. “We also got some great defense, and that really helped us.”
Candyce Carter and Jenna Holland homered for Lamar in the second game. Carter had three RBIs in the game, while Holland and Julianne Viator added two RBIs apiece.
Carter closed out the game in spectacular fashion, making a diving grab in center field to turn what looked to be a sure double off the bat of Brittney Tschoepe into the final out of the game.
The two teams wrap up their three-game series with a single contest at 1 p.m. Sunday at Ford Park. All senior citizens 55 and older receive free admission.
“It’s always tough to sweep a team,” Bruder said. “We know Sunday’s game will be tough.”
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