Notre Dame’s Brandt Bergeron fires a pitch to the plate Thursday during the Pios’ 3-0 victory over Catholic High of New Iberia at Miller Stadium. Bergeron allowed just two hits and struck out four in seven innings of work. (Photo by Jason Faul)
Bergeron fires two-hit shutout at Panthers
CROWLEY - With four games in three days, the hope for the Notre Dame Pios' was to get as much as they could out of their starting pitchers.
They got more than enough from Brandt Bergeron on Thursday in their opening game of the Teurlings Tournament.
Bergeron threw just 88, 63 for strikes, and limited Catholic High of New Iberia to just two hits in earning a 3-0 complete-game victory over the Panthers at Miller Stadium.
"Going into a tournament, the biggest thing is to be able to save pitching; so for him to go out there and throw seven shutout innings right out of the gate was outstanding," said Notre Dame coach Steve Soper. "That's the big lift that we needed and he did an outstanding job tonight."
The Pios backed their pitcher by making not only the routine plays, but also a handful of spectacular ones as well.
Notre Dame turned a double play in the third inning on a liner to second baseman Konnor Broussard and later (seventh) Garrett Cormier made a highlight reel diving catch in shallow center field.
"There's a lot to be said about just throwing strikes," said Soper. "And being able to see the way our defense played behind him (Bergeron), I think that just gave him even more confidence.
"The more our defense plays, the more confidence our guys get on the mound and the better their stuff becomes."
Catholic hurler Brennan Bryant didn't have a bad day on the bump despite suffering the loss. The crafty southpaw gave up four runs, just one earned, on seven hits and had the Pios off balance for most of the contest.
"Offensively, we kind of struggled a little bit, but we were able to grind out at-bats and push across a few runs," said Soper. "Their guy did a good job of changing speeds and we had a lot of unproductive outs, but we were able to string some good ones out."
Broussard and Collin Kirsch were the only Pios with multiple hits on the day.
Broussard, hitting in the nine-hole, collected a two-out single in the fourth to extend the inning, allowing the Pios to score a run one batter later on an error. He also capped Notre Dame's scoring with an RBI triple to right field in the bottom of the sixth.
Kirsch reached on an infield single in the first inning and scored on an RBI single to center by Thomas Stevens. He also singled up the middle in the third inning.
Stevens, Nick Hanks and Brennan Goss each had singles for the Pios.
"One thing we like our nine-hole hitter to be able to do is turn over the lineup and he (Broussard) has done a good job of that," said Soper. "And really, this year our lineup is balanced all the way through. We're not exactly top loaded and I think, one through nine, we can really swing it."
Pios top Eagles
Notre Dame got its second solid outing on the mound in as many days Friday evening.
John Hoffpauir limited Vermilion Catholic to just three hits and no earned runs in a 5-3 victory over Vermilion Catholic at Miller Stadium.
Hoffpauir walked just one and struck out eight over seven innings to earn the victory.
Defensively, the Pios committed three errors that led to single runs in the fourth and sixth innings.
Stevens, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI, logged a two-out single in the first inning and scored on a Will Veillon triple to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
The Pios tacked on another run in the third inning courtesy of a walk and an error and then added two more runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Hanks and a bases-loaded walk to Broussard.
Notre Dame pushed across the final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI single by Stevens.
Hanks had two hits and an RBI in the victory. Veillon tripled and drove in one and Jordan Owens had a double.
The Pios took on Catholic of Baton Rouge and Teurlings on Saturday, but results of those contests weren’t available as of press time.