Eagles take Kentwood double-header

Andrew Green agreen@postsouth.com
The SJHS Eagles are tied atop 6-1A after taking the Kentwood double-header this week

St. John Eagles are tied atop District 6-1A with Ascension Catholic after taking a double-header against the former 6-1A first place holder, Kentwood.

St. John hosted both games on Tuesday, and looked to lock down the first matchup quickly with a 3-0 lead at the top of the sixth.

Kentwood fought back, however, and finally put a run on the board in the sixth.  After an Eagle error, Kentwood put on two more runs to tie the game 3-3 with one inning left to play.

The game nearly slipped away from the St. John Eagles, but after an errant throw from the Kentwood catcher to the first baseman, the Eagles put up a go-ahead run.  St. John capped it off with two more runs for a total of three in the sixth.

Kentwood blanked the top of the seventh to give SJHS the game one victory.

Tre Dupont, Landon LeBlanc and Dylan Hurst each totaled a pair of hits in the win.  Ben Bucher racked up a trio of walks, Grant Blanchard totaled two and Josh Carbo earned an RBI.

Landon Leblanc pitched the first six innings and threw 18 first pitch strikes and nine strikeouts.  Adam Blanchard closed out the game in the seventh and earned one strikeout.

Fresh off the victory, the red-hot Eagles were eager to begin game two which was not as near as close of a matchup.

St. John jumped out to an early 2-0 lead through the first two innings.  Kentwood answered back, however, with a pair of runs of their own in the bottom of the third, but it was all Eagles through the final three.

St. John totaled four runs in the fourth, five in the fifth and three in the sixth before blanking Kentwood in the bottom of the sixth to give the Eagles a 6-1 record in district play, good enough to tie for first in 6-1A.

Tre Dupont was the lead hitter for the Eagles with three hits, followed by Grant Blanchard and Collin Barbee each with two.

Barbee racked up four RBIs in the win, Dupont with two and Blanchard earned one.

Dylan Hurst pitched all six innings for the Eagles and earned 17 first pitch strikes and six strikeouts.

“Kentwood did a good job of competing on Tuesday,” head coach Christ Harrell said.  “They made us earn the first game and had a chance to beat us.  The second game they made some errors and we took advantage. As a team right now we are focusing one day at a time to be the best we can be.”

The Eagles are currently tied atop 6-1A along with rival Ascension Catholic. And, as always, that series will be key in determining the 6-1A champ.

The showdown against Ascension Catholic begins on April 10, but until then the Eagles will focus on taking down University Lab on April 1 and White Castle next week.