Varnado falls to Hannan, Covington on opening day of tournament play

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2016

COVINGTON — Varnado lost to Archbishop Hannan and Covington at the Covington/Mandeville Tournament on Thursday at CHS.

The first game was an 11-1 setback to Hannan in six innings.

Varnado had runners on base in every inning, but had trouble capitalizing on those opportunities. The Wildcats left eight runners on base and six of them were stranded in scoring position.

Defensively, the Wildcats struggled, committing six errors. They did a good job of working through the miscues. Hannan did not have a big inning, but the Hawks chipped away with runs throughout the game. The most they scored in any inning was three, which they did in the second and fifth. Hannan failed to tally in just one inning, the fourth.

“Hannan did a good job of making the plays to get the outs needed to keep us off the scoreboard,” Varnado coach Blake West said. “If we could have eliminated the errors I feel it would have been a completely different ball game. I felt after a weeklong layoff due to recent weather we came out a bit rusty and it forced us to overcome errors all game. Hannan had six base hits, we had six base hits. Hannan just did a better job than us producing outs and the final scored reflected it. I felt our pitching was solid. I felt our bats were productive. We got runners on base nearly every inning. Again, Hannan just did an outstanding job making the plays necessary to control the ball game.”

The Hawks got out to a 5-0 lead after two innings.

With one out in the first inning, Quinn Heinold walked before stealing second. He scored when Dale St. John hit a grounder to third that was not handled cleanly. A low throw past first allowed Heinold to tally and make it 1-0. St. John scored two batters later on Ian Distefano’s RBI double for a 2-0 lead after one inning.

The Hawks added three more in the second.

Bryce Lauga singled before courtesy runner Brandon Klein was forced at second. Nicholas Lucido reached on an error. Heinold walked, but a wild pitch on ball four allowed Austin Knower to score. St. John drew a walk to load the bases. Andrew Barre hit a ball that deflected off the pitcher. The play was made at first, but Lucido scored on the RBI fielder’s choice. Later, Nick Lagalante drew an RBI walk for a 5-0 lead.

The Wildcats got on the board in the third inning.

Ja’Roderick Robinson, who went 1-for-2, walked with one out. After the second out was recorded, Jaylan Jefferson, who went 2-for-3, singled and Xavier Moses reached on an error that plated Robinson, trimming the deficit to 5-1.

Hannan pushed the lead back to five when Lauga walked and courtesy runner Klein later scored on Lucido’s run-scoring single. It was 6-1 after three.

The clubs played a scoreless fourth, but the Hawks tallied three times in the fifth and closed out the game with two in the sixth.

Also for Varnado, Ja’Kyle Newkirk and Armontee Kemp each had a single.

The second game was an 8-3 loss to Covington.

Robinson had another solid performance, going 2-for-3.

Errol Varnado posted two hits with a walk, a stolen base and a run scored.

Kemp had a hit drove in a run and swiped a base.