St. Martin’s pulls away late for 12-2 victory

NEW ORLEANS — St. Martin’s stopped helping La Salle and started helping itself, and by the end of their Class 1A bidistrict playoff game Friday, the Saints had plenty enough.

St. Martin’s scored six runs in the fifth inning, then added four in the sixth innng in winning 12-2 at Mike Miley Stadium. The game was stopped in the sixth by the 10-run-lead rule.

The Saints (19-8) advanced to play at Central Catholic in Morgan City next week. LaSalle finished 14-13.

Right-hander Stewart Campbell (7-3) overcame a shaky start, going six innings and allowing five hits and no earned runs. Third baseman Hampton Davis went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs, and center fielder Chandler Patten went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs.

“We got better as the game went along, and Campbell got better as the game went along,” said St. Martin’s coach Wayne Golden. “We did a good job of being patient with their starting pitcher (Cole Hendrix). He was walking people, and we didn’t chase bad pitches.”

The Saints broke it open in the fifth. With the score tied at 2, an infield hit, a hard single to right field and a walk loaded the bases against Hendrix (9-5).

Kyle O’Neal greeted new pitcher Josh Boyette with a single to center, bringing in Will Bower with the go-ahead run. A hit-batsman, squeeze bunt and a walk later, and it was 6-2 and still no outs. St. Martin’s added two runs on an error on a fly to right and a walk before the Tigers got their first out. By then the Saints had batted around.

St. Martin’s finished off the Tigers in the sixth. Davis singled in Kyle O’Neal and Patten, who had led off with a walk and a single. Davis scored on Lang’s fly out, and perhaps appropriately, Campbell drove in the final run, Patten, with a hard single past shortstop.

“(St. Martin’s) did a good job of getting deep in the count, and I took my pitcher out after he got to 100 pitches,” said LaSalle coach Derek White. “From that moment on the pitching kind of went down.”

Trailing 2-0, St. Martin’s tied the score in the third. Hampton Davis walked and Patten followed with a single to left-center field, with both advancing when La Salle left fielder Brandon Johnson bobbled the ball.

Zac Lang grounded out to shortstop, but Davis scored. Campbell then singled through the hole between first and second base, scoring Patten.

Mistakes had put the Saints into an early hole. Campbell hit the game’s first batter, Boyette.

The next hitter, Josh Campbell reached on an error, and Hendrix and Morgan Barbo walked, scoring the first run.

The Tigers scored with two outs in the second, again hardly lifting a bat, getting a run on two infield errors and a passed ball.

However, the Tigers’ failure to help themselves when they had chances hurt them.

“We should have scored more runs in the first inning,” White said. “And, we had a chance to get some runs in the fifth and didn’t get it done.”

It was worse in the fifth. With the score still 2-2, La Salle had the bases loaded again with no outs, but Campbell induced two ground ball outs and struck out a batter to get out of the inning unscathed.