Game 9
Southwest
5 vs. Northwest
1

Saturday, August 16, 2008
8:00PM ET


Fontenot Dazzles in Williamsport Debut
Lake Charles, Louisiana's Fontenot pitches team to series-opening 5-1 win over Mills Creek, Washington

By Jesse Caputo

Saturday night under the lights of Howard J. Lamade Stadium started off with what looked liked a promising pitchers duel. In the first inning, both pitchers retired the side on strikeouts and it appeared the estimated crowd of 16,500 was in for an exciting game.

In the end, Louisiana's Kennon Fontenot outdueled Mills Creek, Washington's Jason Todd, as the Southwest champs beat the Northwest champs, 5-1.

Todd started off strong, but was unable to keep pace with Fontenot. Todd lasted four innings, giving up five runs and striking out seven.

On most nights those stats would have held up, but unfortunately for Todd, Fontenot was lights-out from the start. Fontenot went 5.1 innings, allowing only one earned run and recording 15 strikeouts.

“I just had all my pitches and tried to hit the mitt, and that’s what I did,” Fontenot said.

Northwest manager Scott Mahlum couldn’t get over the performance Fontenot had on the hill.

“I don’t know how you prepare to face a kid that throws that hard and has that kind of control,” Mahlum said. “I don’t know how you prepare a team for that. The batting cages don’t throw that hard.”

In the second inning, Southwest opened the scoring with two runs on a couple of singles and stolen bases by Bryce Jordan and Nicholas Abshire. In the third, they followed up with two more runs behind a triple, double, and single. They were only a home run short of hitting for the cycle in the inning.

Peyton McLemore was called on by Southwest manager Charlie Philips to pinch hit in the fourth inning and he made sure to get advice from teammates about the Northwest pitcher. McLemore received good advice and slapped a single to right field to drive in the second run of the inning.

In the top of the fourth after Fontenot gave up a double and run-scoring single, the tall right-hander came back with consecutive strikeouts to end the threat.

Gunner Leger relieved Fontenot in the sixth, recording the final two outs of the game. Leger came in with runners on base and just tried to throw strikes, he said. He induced a pop fly and grounder to the second baseman to finish off the game.

The Southwest team has never played under the lights at a field like Lamade Stadium or in front of such a large crowd as was on hand Saturday night. Fontenot and his teammates made sure they enjoyed the moment.

“I felt like a major leaguer,” Leger said.


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