Crowley Americans top Iota for Bronco Section I title
EUNICE – What a difference a couple of days makes.
Two days after suffering a stunning 14-4 loss to Iota in the Bronco Section I Tournament, the Crowley Americans turned the tables on their Acadia Parish rivals, scoring five runs in the first inning and rolling to a 17-3 five-inning victory.
The win, which gave them the tournament title, was the third straight for the Americans, who bounced back with two victories on Monday, including a 9-5 win over Iota, to set up the rubber match between the two teams on Tuesday.
“We really came out and swung the bat well tonight,” said Crowley coach Jason Lamm following the contest. “Kendrick (LeJeune) is one of the hardest-throwing pitchers we’ve faced so far and we did a good job of adjusting to his speed.”
LeJeune, Iota’s starting pitcher, struggled early, giving up five runs on three hits and one walk in the first inning. He was also hindered by three errors in the opening frame.
The Americans didn’t let up after their big first inning. They added a pair of runs in the second and third innings before breaking loose for eight runs in the fourth.
“The big thing for us was that we kept the pressure on them,” said Lamm. “We didn’t let up. We were able to produce runs every inning.”
Leadoff man David Frank played a major role in the American’s 11-hit outburst. He finished the night a home run shy of the cycle, going 4-for-4 with two singles, a double and a triple. He also drove in one run.
“David really set the tone of the game,” said Lamm. “His leadoff triple (in the first inning) really gave all the other guys a lot of confidence.”
Another big factor in the game was the pitching performance of Collin Kirsch.
Kirsch limited Iota to just four hits and gave up just three runs in five innings.
“Collin really did a good job on the mound tonight,” said Lamm. “He mixed up his pitches well and kept a very good-hitting team off balance.”
Frank got the Americans going in the first inning with a leadoff triple before David Schmid drew a one-out walk. Both runners eventually scored on wild pitches.
Will Doughty then singled and later scored when John Hoffpauir reached base on a two-out error. Hoffpauir crossed the plate on a double by Collin Kirsch before scoring himself on yet another Iota error.
Iota was able to get on the board in the second inning when Trevor Leger drew a one-out walk before eventually scoring on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 5-1
But Frank sparked the Americans again in the second inning with a leadoff double. A walk to Devin Mouton followed before Frank scored on a wild pitch. Doughty then drove in Mouton with a single to center field to push the lead to 7-1.
In the third inning, Frank delivered again with a single to left field that plated Kaizer Lamm, who was hit by a pitch. Frank later scored on a wild pitch.
Iota managed to cut the lead to 9-2 in the fourth inning when Chase Doucet walked to start the inning and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Dubose.
But Crowley put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fourth, scoring eight runs on four hits and three walks. Frank and Schmid had RBI singles in the frame while Garrett Cormier and J.T. Swacker plated runs on bases-loaded walks.
LeJeune accounted for Iota’s final run in the fifth when he tripled and scored on a double by Emmett Bobbett.
In all, Crowley banged out 11 hits in the victory. Frank led the way with his 4-for-4 performance while Doughty followed with three hits, including a double and an RBI.
Kirsch added a double and an RBI while Mouton and Hoffpauir each had one hit. Cormier and Swacker each had an RBI.
LeJeune paced Iota with two hits, including a triple and an RBI. Bobbett followed with a double and an RBI and Brett Spell had a single.
The Americans, who banged out 47 runs and 42 hits in their final three games, Iota and the Crowley Nationals all advance to the Bronco Super Regional Tournament that begins Friday in Lafayette at Neyland Park..
The Americans will take on the Lafayette Section runnersup at 6 p.m. Iota will take on the Loreauville Section champion, also at 6 and the Crowley Nationals are slated to play the Lafayette champion at 8 p.m.