Big inning propels Pios past South Beauregard

LONGVILLE – Timmy Robichaux’s Notre Dame Pioneers have been there before.

The Pios (9-11, 3-0) squandered an early two-run lead and found themselves facing a 5-4 deficit heading into the fourth inning of their pivotal District 4-3A road showdown at South Beauregard.

But just as they had done when trailing in their previous two league games, the Pios responded with a big inning.

Notre Dame rallied for four runs in the fourth inning off South Beauregard ace Nathan Lee and held on for an 8-6 victory.

The loss was South Beaurgard’s only blemish in district as they fell to 16-4 and 2-1.

“I really proud of our guys,” said Robichaux, whose squad took the outright lead in league play with the victory. “To go on the road, face somebody’s No. 1 and play like we did … That’s what we’ve been trying to do; just get in here and compete and let it fall where it falls after seven innings and we did a good job of that today.”

Clint Faul sparked the fourth-inning rally when he reached base on a sharp grounder to second base that was misplayed by Pryce Fontenot. Faul moved up to second base on a wild pitch and Hogan Guidry then laid down a perfect drag bunt to the right side of the infield that gave the Pios runners at the corners with no outs.

Gavin Bourgeois followed with an RBI single to left field and Brad Stoma reached base on a fielder’s choice. Dillan Gilbert added a two-run double down the right field line and Sam Veillon capped the scoring when his groundout to shortstop enabled Gilbert to score.

“That’s the thing with us, we really don’t quit,” said Robichaux. “We’ve been behind a lot at times and it doesn’t really phase us. We kept our composure and our hitters were able to get us the lead back.”

The Knights were able to push across one more run in the fifth inning off ND starter Royce Zaunbrecher.

But Alex Holston took over for Zaunbrecher with two runners on and no outs in the fifth and allowed just one hit over the final three frames.

“Royce got us deep into the game and Alex did another good job of coming in behind and pretty much shutting them down,” said Robichaux. “For Alex to come in with two runners on and no outs, that was really the big inning right there. He did a good job of throwing strikes and getting ahead and he got some pretty defensive swings right there in the last inning.”

The Knights looked to rally in the bottom of the seventh when two-hole hitter Zach Brady hit a screamer up the middle for what looked to be a leadoff single.

But Pios freshman shortstop Joe Faulk made a highlight reel stab in the hole and fired a strike to first base for the first out of the inning.

“That play to start the seventh inning was huge,” said Robichaux. “Joe just doesn’t play like a freshman; his fielding is so clutch. We’ve been in situations like this along the way with him and there’s no jittery throwaways. He’s just been solid for us at shortstop.”

Holston then got a pair of fly outs to right field by Nathan Lee and Nick Lee to end the game.

Bourgeois led the Pios offensively with a 3-for-4 performance that included a double and three RBI. Gilbert had two hits and two RBI and Guidry added a pair of singles and an RBI.

Faulk followed with a double, Alex Rozas singled and Veillon had two RBI.

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