Hebert leads Dragons past Leesville

Daniel Green | BWS Sports
DeRidder starter Dawson Hebert had a stellar outing on Thursday with 11 strikeouts, tossing a four-hitter in a win over Leesville.

LEESVILLE - In a close game with limited offense, it's usually the first team to make a mistake who has the advantage.

And the DeRidder Dragons did just that.

DeRidder's first three runs were all unearned as the Dragons defeated district rival Leesville on Thursday at Wampus Cat Diamond, 4-1.

Although the Dragons were victorious, they struggled early pitching as Dawson Hebert seemed to be laboring early on. In fact, the game was briefly stopped as the DeRidder coaching staff thought Hebert may have been injured.

But Hebert didn't just continue on, he got stronger as the game extended. He gave up just one run on four hits with 11 strikeouts in the contest.

However, he did surrender the first run of the game, that coming in the bottom of the third.

Mason Fitzgerald doubled and scored on a Braeden Bradley single as the Wampus Cats took a 1-0 lead.

DeRidder responded in the fourth as Alex Brannan connected on an RBI-single off of Leesville starter Jacob Mount to tie the game at 1-1, scoring Hebert, who had reached on an error.

The Dragons took the lead in the fifth with a pair of unearned runs as both Layne LaCaze and D.J. Kendall crossed home.

Leesville had limited chances to come back the rest of the way although Fitzgerald doubled again for the Wampus Cats.

Leesville catcher Mason Fitzgerald fires to first for the out during the Wampus Cats' loss on Thursday to DeRidder. Fitzgerald led the Cats with three hits, including a pair of doubles.

But Hebert proved to be too much and the Dragons added an insurance run in the seventh to secure the victory.

LaCaze led the Dragons at the plate with two hits and a run scored, while Brannan, Ross Picou and Kendall each had a hit.

Mount suffered the loss pitching, giving up four runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. Fitzgerald was 3-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored, while Bradley had the only other hit for the Cats.