Sterlington 4, Ouachita 1
Senior right-hander Trey Rugg threw six strong innings as Sterlington turned back Ouachita 4-1 on Opening Night at Panther Park.
"It's always good to start out with a win against a good team," Sterlington coach Mark Sims said after Monday night's game. "I was proud of the way we came out."
Rugg, a 2018 Class 3A All-State honoree, and Ouachita's Zach Shaw matched zeroes until the top of the fourth.
Back-to-back, one-out singles by Cody Wooley and Austin Pennington and Shaw's squeeze bunt staked the Lions to a 1-0 lead.
Brock Risinger singled to start the home half of the fourth and Seaver Sheets grounded into a force play. Reece Brooks followed with a game-tying double.
Rugg pitched around his only free pass — a two-out walk to Dada Jones — in the fifth before the Panthers took the lead in the bottom of the frame.
Davis Johnson, representing the top of the batting order, doubled, took third on Kyle Elee's fielder's choice and eventually scored on an error.
Rugg permitted a two-out single to Austin Pennington in the sixth before finishing his outing with a ground ball to Brooks at second base. He allowed one run (earned) on five hits, with five punchouts.
"Trey did what Trey has done for the last three years, and (Adam) Tubbs came in and finished them off," Sims said.
Sterlington tacked on two unearned markers in the sixth.
Sheets walked and Brooks reached on an error to put runners aboard at first and second with nobody out. Breaking for third on a wild pitch, Sheets continued home as the throw sailed into left field. Brooks eventually scored on Harrison Womack's two-out bunt single down the third base line.
"The third baseman was a playing back a little, so we decided to try to drop one down," Sims said of the bunt call. "That was a good job by Womack."
Called upon to protect a 4-1 lead, Tubbs issued a leadoff walk to Ryan Albritton and gave up a one-out single to Colby Armstrong. With the tying run at the plate and the top of the order stepping to the plate, Tubbs quelled the threat with ground balls to third base (Johnson) and shortstop (Sheets).
"We still have a couple of things to clean up defensively, but we played a pretty clean game for the most part," Sims said.
Hits were even at six apiece. Risinger went 2-for-3 for the Panthers, Johnson and Brooks doubled, and Clay Benson and Womack singled.
Pennington went 3-for-3 with a double to pace the Lions, and Cayle Wheeler, Wooley and Armstrong singled.
Shaw, who pitched well in defeat, was charged with two earned runs on five hits through five innings. He walked two and struck out one.
Sterlington is scheduled to play three games in the Delhi Charter Tournament, starting with Thursday's 5:30 p.m. tilt against Franklin Parish in Winnsboro. The Panthers are pitted against Vidalia on Friday at 4 p.m. and Delhi Charter on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., with both games to be played at Delhi Charter.