BROTHER MARTIN 7, ST. AUGUSTINE 6
at Wesley Barrow Stadium, Saturday (Apr. 20), District 9-5A
Records: Brother Martin, 24-5 (9-3); St. Augustine, 17-14 (5-7)
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Tre’ Morgan '20, Brother Martin
Morgan was sensational Saturday in a high-stakes game for the Crusaders. The junior LSU commitment was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with four extra base hits including an inside-the-park home run that gave Brother Martin a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. His second hit came in the third inning with a one-out double to center, and eventually scored to give the Crusaders a 3-2 advantage.
Morgan’s assault at the plate continued in the fifth when he tripled off the right field wall with two outs, but this time he was stranded on third. In his final at-bat in the seventh with Brother Martin trailing 6-3 with no outs, Morgan doubled to deep center field plating two runners to cut the score to 6-5. The junior also fielded his position well at first base throughout the game committing no errors.
4 KEY MOMENTS: HOW THE GAME WAS SHAPED
- It looked like St. Augustine had secured a win after putting up three runs in the top of the seventh to break a 3-3 tie, but the Crusaders had other plans. An error at first base allowed Brady Faust '19 to reach to start the ring and Brennan Stuprich '20 followed with a single through first and second. That brought a red-hot Tre’ Morgan '20 to the plate, who drove both Faust and Stuprich in with a double to deep center field cutting the deficit to 6-5. The rally continued with another St. Augustine error on a bunt attempt, and runners eventually reached second and third forcing the Purple Knights to intentionally walk Cole Stromboe '20. Blake Bufkin '20 came to the plate with a chance to tie or take the lead, and got the job done sending a pitch towards short, but the throw to third was too late as Morgan crossed the plate for the game-tying run. Caden Nash '19 followed working himself into a full count and got the call on a called ball four allowing Ethan Moser '20 to score the winning run for a 7-6 victory.
- St. Augustine seized control of the game in the top of the seventh coming into the inning tied at 3-3. Herb Watts got hit by a pitch to start the inning, then Tannard Darensburg and Eddie Davis bunted their way on to load the bases with no outs. Will Spears followed with a single past third driving in Watts, and Mike Mims doubled down the left field line plating two more for a 6-3 lead. Brother Martin pitcher Jacob Cohen then regained his composure forcing a groundout and a strikeout to end the inning.
- Brother Martin struck first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Joe Delaney '20 started the inning with a single, but was sent back to the dugout in the next at-bat on a 1-6-3 double play by the Purple Knights. Stuprich followed with a double to deep left-center, and scored on an inside-the-park home run in the next at-bat by Morgan, who sent a pitch to deep left-center that bounced off the wall giving him extra time to reach home. St. Augustine answered in the next frame when Herb Watts singled through second and third with two runners on, and an errant throw to third allowed both to score tying the game at 2-2 in the top of the second.
- Both teams scored one run in the bottom of the third and top of the fifth. Brother Martin took a 3-2 lead on a sac-fly by Stromboe plating Morgan in the third, and Mike Mims doubled to left-center tying the score at 3-3 on a run by Eddie Davis, who singled with one out earlier in the fifth.
St. Augustine – 020 010 3 – 6 11 2
Brother Martin – 201 000 4 – 7 14 2
St. Augustine: 1, Tannard Darensburg (LF) 1-4, RS; 2, Eddie Davis (2B), 3-4, 2 RS; 3, Will Spears (SS), 1-3, RBI, BB; 4, Mike Mims (P), 3-4, 3 RBIs, 2 2B; 5, Jorda Vidato (CF), 0-4; 6, Kenya Huggins (1B), 0-4, RS; 7, Kabrel Johnson (C), 1-3, RS (courtesy Jeff Duroncelay); 8, Jardy Montgomery (DH), 1-3, 3B; 9, Herb Watts (RF), 1-2, HBP, RS.
Brother Martin: 1, Joe Delaney (CF), 2-4; 2, Brady Faust (SS), 1-3, RS; 3, Brennan Stuprich (3B), 2-4, 2B, 2 RS; 4, Tre’ Morgan (1B), 4-4, 4 RBIs, HR, 2 2B, 3B; 5, Ethan Moser (2B), 2-4, RS; 6, Cole Stromboe (RF), 2-2, RBI, BB; 7, Blake Bufkin (C), 1-4, RBI; 8, Caden Nash (DH), 0-3, BB; 9, Blaine Starring, 0-3.
WP: Jacob Cohen, 1 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 HB, 1 K. (Starter: Brandon Bonura, 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 K).
LP: Mike Mims, 6 IP, 7 R, 5 ER, 14 H, 1 IBB, 7 K.
- Saturday’s win clinched the outright 2019 Catholic League championship for Brother Martin. The Crusaders finished with a 9-3 record in District 9-5A with Jesuit coming in second at 8-4 after falling to Rummel 9-0 Saturday morning.
- It was an entertaining game with good pitching and hitting on both sides. The two teams combined for 25 hits, but a total of 13 runners were left stranded on base. St. Augustine left six runners with five of them being in scoring position while Brother Martin left seven on with four in scoring position. St. Augustine pitcher Mike Mims buckled down in key spots striking out the final batter in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings.
- Both starters nearly went the distance with Brother Martin’s Brandon Bonura '19 tossing six innings before Jacob Cohen '20 came on to start the seventh. St. Augustine’s Mike Mims also threw six innings before being replaced by sophomore Kenya Huggins for the final batter.
- Brother Martin will be in good position for a playoff push as they currently sit at No. 2 in the LHSAA’s latest Division I power rankings released on Tuesday. St. Augustine is currently No. 10, but as Saturday’s performance indicated, the Purple Knights are capable of keeping pace with any team in the district. No. 1 Catholic-B.R., No. 3 St. Paul’s, No. 7 Byrd, No. 8 Evangel, No. 12 Scotlandville and No. 13 McKinley are the other six teams in Division I outside of the Catholic League.
- Brother Martin will enter the playoffs on a roll winning their last six as well as 10 of their last 11. It’s been a bit rougher for St. Augustine as they’ve dropped five of their last six after winning six straight.
THEY SAID IT
- “When they scored that run on the hit down the line, we had to come together as a team to get out of that inning and after that we huddled up and coach talked to us about our approach (offensively). He said ‘if we’re the team that we really think we are, we’re going to come back and we showed that.(St. Augustine) knows me and they’re going to try to attack my weaknesses and I knew they weren’t going to walk me, so I went up there every time trying to do damage and it just worked out today.
We had two goals coming into the season: win district and win state. We accomplished one and now we’ve got to get back to work to accomplish the second.” – Brother Martin 1B Tre’ Morgan '20
- “We had an offensive conference before (my last at-bat) and my coaches just told me to see something and drive it to the outfield to tag up at third and that was pretty much my approach…This team is relentless and we’ve been fighting all year through adversity. and we just love to play baseball.” – Brother Martin DH Caden Nash '19
- “I don’t know what words to use. They battled back and they've battled back all season after the 0-2 start. They kept the faith with everything that was going on and they just showed their character again tonight. That’s an awfully good ball club to go down to with their No. 1 guy on the mound. To go down three in the top (of the seventh) and answer in the bottom — I just can’t say enough about them.(On Tre’ Morgan) Outstanding, that’s why he’s going where he’s going (LSU). Not only is he a hell of a player, he’s an exceptional character kid and works extremely hard. When you put yourself in those situations and you’re prepared, that’s usually what happens. He was big for us today coming up with big hit after big hit, he jump-started us again in the seventh when those guys got on in front of him and drove them in. We couldn’t have done it without him, that’s for sure.
I think everybody knew the situation we were in that we had an opportunity to be outright champs. But like I told them all year, you can only control the things that you can control and I wanted them to play the way they were capable of. They overcame obstacles and to get 14 hits against those guys, especially with Mims on the mound — he’s a hell of a pitcher, I’m extremely proud of them…They gave me my first ice bath and they got me pretty good.— Brother Martin coach Jeff Lupo '92
- “I thought it was a well-played game and congratulations to Brother Martin on winning the district and we’ll get ready for playoffs. I don’t think we’re playing bad and a game like that, of course, you want to win but it tells you you belong in this district.” – St. Augustine coach Al Robinson
Both teams will await their playoff matchups as Saturday was the final day of the regular season.