Bronco Americans reach title game
EUNICE – After a 14-4 loss to Iota Sunday in the 2011 Bronco Section Tournament, Crowley American’s coach Jason Lamm was worried about how his team would respond heading into Monday’s loser’s bracket finals against the Crowley Nationals.
He need not have been concerned.
The Americans pounded out 16 hits en route to a 21-5 mercy rule victory over their counterparts before avenging Sunday’s loss with a 9-5 victory over Iota.
The latter forced the If Necessary game that is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. to determine the tournament champion.
“I just wasn’t sure how our kids would react after our first big loss,” said Lamm of his team, which has compiled a 21-2 record over the summer. “But they responded well. They came out ready to play.”
In the two games, the Americans logged a total of 25 hits and 30 runs.
But what Lamm was most impressed with was his squad’s pitching and defense.
“We’ve been pretty solid at the plate all summer,” said Lamm. “But our pitching and defense has really come around and has been carrying us.”
John Hoffpauir and John William Lamm combined to limit the Crowley Nationals to just four hits and five runs in the first game before Will Doughty held Iota to five runs on six hits in the finale.
“Our pitchers really did a great job tonight,” said Lamm. “To hold the Nationals to just four hits is tough to do.
“And Will came in and pitched a heck of a game against Iota. He shut down a really solid team.”
In the first game, the Nationals, which had scored 79 runs in four games entering Monday’s contest, kept things close early on and trailed just 5-4 after two innings.
But the Americans broke loose in the third frame, scoring 14 runs to take a commanding 19-4 advantage.
Each team scored two runs in the fifth inning before the game was halted due to the mercy rule.
John Hoffpauir picked up the victory for the Americans, giving up four runs on four hits and three walks in three innings.
Offensively, the Americans were led by Thomas Stevens with three hits, including a double and a triple. Will Doughty had two singles and a double while Devin Mouton singled three times.
Collin Kirsch followed with an inside the park home run and a triple; David Schmid had a triple and a single; John Hoffpauir had two singles and John William Lamm had a single.
The Nationals collected four hits in the loss. Clay Kirsch, Alex Gardiner, Bryce Sellers and Matthew Mier each had a single.
In the final game of the night, Iota jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning before Crowley responded with four runs in the third to take a 4-2 advantage.
The Americans went on to outscore Iota 5-2 over the final five innings to earn the victory.
Doughty gave up five runs on six hits. He struck out four in seven innings.
Tristan Miller suffered the loss for Iota, giving up four runs on one hit and three walks. He struck out one in two innings of work.
Doughty was also a force at the plate, logging three hits, including a triple. Hoffpauir and Garrett Cormier each had two hits while Thomas Stevens and David Frank each had one hit.
Miller and Kendrick LeJeune led Iota with two hits each while Cade Covalt and Brett Spell had one hit each.
Regardless tonight's outcome, the Crowley Americans and Nationals as well as Iota advance to the Bronco Super Regional Tournament that begins Friday in Lafayette .