Doyle-Springfield Tim Beatty

Doyle coach Tim Beatty on St. Thomas Aquinas: "To beat a good team like that, you have to play a near-perfect game."

HAMMOND – All was not lost for the Doyle after dropping a 10-5 decision at St. Thomas Aquinas in a battle of District 10-A co-leaders.

In fact, they’re still in pretty good shape with less than one week remaining in the 2019 regular season, but there’s a challenge that must be dealt with.

“We didn’t play that bad,” said Doyle’s Tyson Stewart. “We need to keep up our intensity and not let our feet off the gas.”

The two teams resume their three-game series at 6 p.m. at Doyle’s Sartwell Memorial Park.

It was Stewart’s three-run home run in the top of the first inning that started Doyle on a path destined for a potential big win.

“I told our guys that both teams play at a high level because it is a big series,” said Doyle coach Tim Beatty. “We’ve just got to stay pitch for pitch with them. And, I thought we did that. To beat a good team like that, you have to play a near-perfect game.”

However, St. Thomas Aquinas (21-7, 6-1 in district) seemed to wake up and Tyler Domiano’s one-out triple followed by Parker Stewart’s RBI-single got one of those runs back.

Doyle (20-10, 5-2) added two more runs in the second for a 5-1 lead with STA getting one back to stay within striking distance.

In the bottom of the third, the Falcons made their move, generating five runs on three hits, highlighted by Sam Smith’s two-out, three-run double for a 7-5 lead over the Tigers.

This is very good rivalry between two teams that fight hard every step of the way,” said St. Thomas coach Barrett Morgan. “I’m proud of the way we kept battling, and we did a good job of putting that first inning behind us.”

STA added runs in the bottom of the sixth with a big hit in the form of an RBI-double by Parker Stewart. The Falcons were also able to play small ball with a sacrifice bunt by Luke Sweeney that produced an RBI to build a 10-5 advantage.

“When they hit us, we hit back,” said STA’s John Blanchard, who pitched a complete game to get the victory. “That’s what we have to do to be able to win games like this.”

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