Ascension Catholic proved on Thursday night that the term "heart of a champion" isn't just some cheesy sports cliche. It's very real.

Ascension Catholic proved on Thursday night that the term "heart of a champion" isn't just some cheesy sports cliche. It's very real.

The Bulldogs were dominated for much of the game against 2A Episcopal, and they trailed, 6-2, heading to the bottom of the sixth inning. There, Ascension Catholic scored four runs to tie the game.

And in the bottom of the seventh, Rodney Blanchard reached base after being hit by a pitch. Two Episcopal throwing errors later, Blanchard came around to score, giving the Bulldogs a wild 7-6 walk-off win.

“This team has done this so many times. It’s frustrating and rewarding all at the same time, but it’s nice when it ends like this," Ascension Catholic head coach Todd Landry said. "I don’t think we played well in the first four, five innings, and Episcopal did. But this group just has something about them. They know how to win, and they found a way again today.”

When the Bulldogs won the Division-IV state championship last May, Blanchard was the starting pitcher. Against Episcopal, he had his share of struggles.

In the second inning, he surrendered two hits and a walk. This allowed the Knights to take a 1-0 lead.

In the third, Episcopal got two base-runners following an infield single and a walk. Both scored on a Bulldog fielding error.

The Knights ended the inning with an RBI single to jump out to a 4-0 advantage.

Ascension Catholic finally responded in the bottom of the third.

Owen Theriot led off with a walk. He was then sent home on a triple by Mason Zeringue. Zeringue later scored on an infield single by Blanchard.

It cut the deficit in half, but Episcopal answered right back in the fourth inning.

With two men on, the Knights came up with a two-RBI triple that pushed their advantage to 6-2.

That's when Jacob Dunn came in to pitch for the Bulldogs. With him on the mound, Episcopal did not score another run.

But Ascension Catholic did.

JB Broussard led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk, and Brock Acosta joined him on base following a Knight fielding error. Both ended up scoring on passed balls.

John Mire walked and was brought home to score after a triple by Andrew Landry. Finally, the game was tied with a sac fly by Dunn that scored Landry.

“We were finally patient. We didn’t help them out at the plate," Coach Landry said. "We got a couple of walks, and John Mire came up and had a big at-bat in his first at-bat since coming back from basketball. That was a big spot. Andrew Landry had a big triple, and Jacob Dunn had a huge sac fly to tie it.

"They work so well together as a team. That’s one of the things that’s special about this group. That’s why they’ve won so many games, because they help each other out.”

With all the momentum, Ascension Catholic took advantage of Episcopal's mistakes in the bottom of the seventh.

Blanchard, the leadoff batter, was hit by a pitch.

Later, they tried throwing him out at second, but the throw was errant. He sped to third. Again, the throw was errant, so he motored home. Blanchard was able to slide in safely just in time to secure the scintillating victory for the Bulldogs.

Blanchard went 1-4 with an RBI, and he scored a run. Zeringue had the exact same stat line.

Dunn led the Bulldogs from the plate as he went 2-4 with and RBI.

He was also fantastic from the mound. In relief, he pitched three scoreless innings in which he surrendered just three hits.

“He threw well," Coach Landry said. "He’s a guy that doesn’t get a whole lot of innings for us. Our starters have been doing a good job of going deep in games, and we haven’t been able to get to secondary guys in relief roles. He’s done a good job every time we’ve put him out there, and he did a great job today. He’s one of the reasons why we’re in the victory column.”

The win was the fifth straight for Ascension Catholic, and it improved their overall record to 11-2. Ten of those 11 victories have come against upper-classification schools.