Sterlington 1, West Ouachita 0
Ross Lambert and Luke Fluitt combined on a two-hit shutout as the Sterlington Panthers won a 1-0 decision over visiting West Ouachita on Tuesday night.
“We finally played a good ballgame,” Sterlington coach Mark Sims said. “This was one of the few times we've had everybody here.”
Lambert and Fluitt faced the minimum through the first six frames before the Chiefs made some noise in the seventh.
Zack Watson opened the inning with a drive to deep center field only to be robbed by Luke Temple's over-the-shoulder catch.
“The play of the game was Luke Temple's catch in the seventh inning,” Sims said. “That was a great catch. You don't see much better than that in high school baseball.”
Sawyer Chilton then lined out to shortstop Devon Murphy for the second out.
Ending a stretch of 13 straight outs, Joseph Tassin lashed a base hit up the middle.
Next up, cleanup batter Cody Street reached on a two-base throwing error, placing the go-ahead run in scoring position.
Taking off on contact, Tassin was trapped in a lengthy rundown between home and third for the final out on Corey Hunter's grounder to the left side.
Watson was also victimized to start the game when left fielder Trenton Hightower made a catch at the wall for the first out of the evening.
Sterlington scratched for an unearned run in the bottom of the second.
With two outs and the bases empty, Ashton Hagan beat out an infield single. Auston Smith then beat out another slow roller for an infield hit, with Hagan sliding home safely after an errant throw. Smith was tagged out attempting to advance to third at the end of the play, but the damage had been done.
On to the third frame, Lambert gave up a leadoff single to Austin Russell, who was soon erased on a popped up bunt in front of the mound.
Facing the minimum 12 batters through four innings, Lambert struck out three for the win.
Flitt retired the first eight batters he faced, striking out two before working out of trouble in the seventh to earn the save.
“Ross was typical Ross,” Sims said. “Luke Fluitt came in threw all three pitches for strikes against a very, very good Class 4A ballclub. Waston, Tassin and Street — all three of those guys can hit.”
West Ouachita starter Austin Tidwell and Tassin pitched well in their own right, limiting the Panthers to an unearned run and eight base runners (seven singles, one walk).
Smith went 2-for-2 at the plate for the Panthers and Murphy, Brooks Rushworth, Hagan, A.J. Eddins and Taylor Scribner singled. Murphy also drew the only walk of the game leading off the first inning.
Sterlington is at home against Tuesday at 6 p.m. vs. Cedar Creek.