By Charlie Cavell, BPCC Athletic Coordinator
TYLER, Texas — Bossier Parish Community College starting pitcher Zachary St. Pierre tossed six shutout innings and the Cavaliers offense scored eight runs in the top of the eighth inning to beat the Wharton County Junior College Pioneers, 12-0, in eight innings in the first round of the Region XIV’s Sub-Regional Tournament Friday evening at UT Tyler’s Irwin Field.
St. Pierre, a freshman from Allen, Texas, scattered six hits over six innings, walked two and struck out 10 to earn the victory. St. Pierre pitched his way out of jams in the third, fourth and sixth innings. The biggest jam was in the bottom of the fourth, when WCJC had the bases loaded with two out, but St. Pierre fanned the Pioneers lead-off hitter Stanley Tucker, who was batting .407 with a league-high 13 home runs coming into the tournament.
BPCC was leading 4-0 at the start of the eighth, when the Cavaliers sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring eight runs on just three hits and one very costly Pioneer error.
Freshman catcher Cole Ketzner, who earlier in the day was named to the All-Region Team, launched a solo shot over the left field wall to lead-off the inning and give the Cavaliers a 5-0 lead.
A strikeout, a walk, and another strikeout had WCJC reliever Andrew Hernandez in a position to get out of the inning with just the one run allowed. However, Ron Franklin’s ground ball was misplayed by WCJC third baseman Antonio Gauthier, who’s a Barbe High School product, and that’s when things began to unravel for the Pioneers.
Garrett Felix drew a walk to load the bases. Hernandez was lifted for rarely-used left-handed reliever Colby Wyers. Wyers walked in two more runs on eight straight balls, before Andrew Mills cleared the bases with a double off the left-center field wall. Wyers issued another free pass, his third in four batters, to Ketzner before being replaced by Jarrett Tadlock.
Elliot Hebert greeted Tadlock with a bloop double down the left-field line, which plated Mills and Ketzner and give the Cavaliers a 12-0 lead.
Freshman reliever Beau Ross took over for St. Pierre in the seventh and kept the Pioneers off the scoreboard. Ross gave up a hit and a walk but struck out three in the two innings.
BPCC took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Young singled, stole second and scored on Franklin’s RBI single. The Cavaliers upped their lead to 2-0 in the fifth on Gabriel Cabrera’s RBI double which scored Mason Hammonds, who reached on a single.
In the seventh, Hammond’s two-out single scored Young, who led off the inning with a double. Cabrera followed with a single to right that moved Hammonds to third, and he would come into to score on WCJC right-fielder Colton Rathjen’s throwing error.
Pioneers starter Jackson Kiddy, who came into the game with a 5-1 record and a 2.87 ERA, was tagged with the loss after allowing just one run on four hits. He did give up four walks and stuck out two in three innings of work.
With the win, BPCC improves to 22-20 overall and will face No. 1-seed Navarro College on Saturday at 2 p.m. The loss drops WCJC to 26-26 overall. The Pioneers will play No. 4 Blinn College in an elimination game at 10 a.m.