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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Hornets buzz Panthers behind big third inning

  • Rayville 11, Sterlington 5
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  • Corey Gilbert and Nathan O'Briant stroked two hits apiece during an eight-run third inning as Rayville toppled Sterlington 11-5 Saturday afternoon in the Bastrop-Sterlington Tournament at Panther Park.
    Winning pitcher Jonathan Wallace launched a solo home run, which struck the top of the left field wall, with one out in the top of the first to open the scoring.
    Sterlington tied the game at 1-1 in the second when Kyle Dolecheck jolted a double into the right-center gap and courtesy runner Sam Lowery took third on a wild pitch and was sent home on a balk.
    It wouldn't stay tied for long as Rayville took the lead with eight runs on seven hits and three Sterlington errors in the third.
    Five straight Hornets reached safely before the first out was recorded.
    Gilbert, batting from the No. 9 slot, singled to right and continued to second on an error. Nathan O'Brient followed with another base hit and took second uncontested, leaving runners at second and third.
    Rayville (10-6) went ahead for good as two runs scored on Wallace's fielder's choice grounder. Gilbert was hit in the back by the throw to the plate and O'Briant hustled home all the way from second base as the ball richocheted into foul territory.
    With still nobody out, Kyle Barefield walked and Walters drilled a one-hopper off the left field wall for an RBI double, extending the Hornets' lead to 4-1.
    Continuing the onslaught, Brandon Cardin and Hunter Chunn stroked consecutive one-out, RBI singles. Cardin later scored on a throwing error, bringing the score to 7-1.
    One out later, Gilbert whacked an RBI double to the left field wall and scored on O'Briant's base hit, giving Rayville a 9-1 advantage.
    Wallace, a kicker who signed a football scholarship with Grambling State University, held the Panthers in check until tiring in the fifth.
    Devon Murphy drew a leadoff walk and Taylor Lockwood was hit by a pitch with one away. O'Brient was then summoned to the mound from shortstop, swapping positions with Wallace.
    After both runners moved up on a passed ball, Austin Mills delivered an RBI groundout to second base, Kyle Vandergracht knocked an RBI double to right and Dolecheck drove a run-producing single up the middle to bring the Panthers within 9-4.
    Quelling the Panthers' momentum, the Hornets got two of the runs back in the sixth on Barefield's RBI double to deep center field and Richard's Allen's RBI single to right.
    Tyler Buffington's two-out RBI single wrapped up the Panthers' scoring in the seventh.
    Wallace gave up two runs (both earned) on two hits in 4 1/3 innings for the win, with O'Brient nailing down the save.
    O'Brient led the Hornets' 11-hit production with three singles and a pair of stolen bases. Gilbert doubled and singled, Wallace went deep, Barefield and Walters doubled and Allen, Cardin and Chunn singled. Ronald Toney, the only Rayville starter not to collect a hit, contributed a pair of diving catches in right field.
    Page 2 of 2 - Dolecheck, who hit the ball hard in all four at bats, doubled and singled to highlight the Panthers' six-hit output. Vandergracht doubled and Mills, Buffington and Elliot Courson singled.
    Mills absorbed the loss on the mound, with Cody Lawson and Dylan Moore in relief.
    Sterlington (10-8) gets back into action at home Tuesday night vs. Claiborne Christian. The JV/varsity double header gets under way at 4 p.m.

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