LAFAYETTE – Nothing figures to come easy when two solid Class 5A baseball programs mix it up and that held true Tuesday when Live Oak headed over to Lafayette High.
Sparked by an early jolt from Preston Faulkner and a pesky day at the plate by Rhett Rosevear, the Eagles clipped the Lions 4-2 in a game that went right down to the final pitch.
Reliever Nick Cacioppo caught Lafayette’s Corey Bellot looking at a third strike with the bases loaded to slam the door after the Lions (6-9) had cut the lead in half on Conner Simon’s two-run homer off of Bailey Simoneaux.
Simoneaux got the win after keeping Lafayette in check for the first 6 innings and he helped his cause with nice plays on two comebackers – one that nailed a runner at the plate in the 4th inning and an inning-ending double play in the 5th. He held the Lions hitless for the first 3 frames.
Joseph Battaglia wasn’t as fortunate for Lafayette.
Live Oak (9-5) got to the Lions’ starter right away when Rosevear was hit by a pitch and Preston Faulkner launched a full-count offering to left-center field for a two-run home run.
The Eagles struggled to do much else against Battaglia for the next several innings. Live Oak managed only more hit until the 6th when Rosevear slapped a one-out double to right-center field. Faulkner and Garrett Barrilleaux walked to load the bases before Cacioppo lofted a first-pitch fly ball to right field for a sacrifice fly.
The Lions’ defense played a part in Live Oak’s last run. Simoneaux started the 7th with a double right and scampered home when second baseman Bo Hardin botched a grounder off the bat of Sal Palermo.
Rosevear was 2-for-2, was hit by pitches twice and scores 2 runs.
The Eagles head right back to Lafayette on Thursday for four games in three days in the Atchafalaya Challenge, starting at 4 p.m. at Comeaux.
LIVE OAK 4, LAFAYETTE 2
Live Oak 200 001 1 -- 4 4 2
Lafayette 000 000 2 -- 2 5 1
Bailey Simoneaux, Nick Cacioppo (7) and Preston Faulkner; Joseph Battaglia, Anthony Celestine (7) and Anthony Simon. W – Simoneaux. L – Battaglia. Sv. – Cacioppo. 2B: Live Oak – Simoneaux, Rhett Rosevear. HR: Live Oak – Faulkner; Lafayette – Conner Simon. Records: Live Oak 9-5, Lafayette 6-9. Up next: Atchafalaya Challenge (Lafayette) -- Live Oak at Comeaux, 4 p.m. Thursday; Live Oak at Notre Dame, 4 p.m. Friday; Live Oak at Lafayette, 10 a.m. Saturday, Live Oak at Acadiana, 2 p.m. Saturday.