By DAVE WOODALL
Slidell sports writer
SLIDELL – The Slidell Tigers opened their season on a sour note Monday night as the Catholic-Baton Rouge Bears came to town and left with a convincing 8-1 win.
The game was originally scheduled to be played on the campus of Southeastern University but because of rain was moved to Slidell.
The Tiger offense was held to only four hits on the night while 13 Slidell batters went down on strikes.
Catholic’s Austin Andrishok got the win going four complete innings giving up no runs on three hits, no walks and seven strikeouts.
Slidell’s Cayde Dorr was tagged with the loss giving up seven runs on seven hits, one strikeout and one walk.
Ethan Gillespie came on in relief in the fifth inning and gave up three hits and one run while striking out five Cub hitters.
After a scoreless first inning, the Bears got on the board first in the second.
Leadoff batter Grant Segar reached on an error and was promptly picked off by Dorr for the first out.
Brennan Lambert followed with a double and moved up on a wild pitch.
Will Etheridge then walked and Parker Evans plated pinch-runner Bryan Bergeron with a sacrifice fly.
Tiger catcher Parker Autry ended the inning by throwing out Etheridge on an attempted steal to keep it at 1-0 Bears.
In the third Catholic added three runs on the strength of a two-RBI double by Segar and an RBI single by Brady Hebert that plated Patrick Crifasi who had reached on a single.
Autry picked off another runner at third trying to for an extra base.
Slidell threatened in their half of the third as Justin Deslatte singled and was thrown out at third trying for an extra base on a Luke Toups single to keep it at 4-0 Bears.
The Bears added three more runs in the fourth on a double by Etheridge, a single by Evans and a two-RBI triple by Tyler Suire upping the Catholic lead to 7-0.
With one out in the fourth, Tyler McManus singled and moved to second on a balk. He was then doubled off on a line drive to second by Autry to end another Tiger threat.
Gillespie then came on in the fifth and shutout the Bears after issuing two walks.
Slidell finally got on the board in the sixth when Deslatte lofted a fastball by Bear reliever Brock Perry over the left field fence for what would turn out to be the only Tiger run of the night narrowing the Catholic lead to 7-1.
The Bears picked up an insurance run in the seventh for the 8-1 final.
Deslatte led the Tiger offense with two hits and an RBI with Toups and
McManus picking up the other two hits.
“We definitely need to improve on our hitting,” said Tiger coach Clay Harris.
“Despite the score, I think our pitching was alright. They just made contact on some good pitches. It’s a work in progress and we will be working to get better as the season progresses.”