Crowley Mustangs win Super Regional title
ERATH – Crowley Mustang coach Chuck Ashby knew that if his team could make it to the Mustang Regional finals with Brice Bergeron and Gavin LeBlanc available to pitch that good things were going to happen.
He was right.
Bergeron scattered four hits over 4 1/3 innings in the opener and LeBlanc yielded only two hits over four innings in the second (“If necessary) game, leading the Crowley All-Stars to 14-7 and 11-1 victories over Rayne Wednesday.
The two victories gave the Crowley team their second tournament title of the All-Star season and earned them a place in the Mustang Zone Tournament which begins Wednesday in Burleson, Texas.
“I felt that if we could get to the finals with Brice and Gavin both having their innings back that there was no way we were going to lose,” said Ashby. “Brice and Gavin have probably become our two aces (on the mound) and they were lights out against Rayne.”
The victories capped a brutal five-day stretch for the Crowley team, which began the tournament with a 10-9 loss to CSA over the weekend and then had to win eight straight games to win the tournament.
“I think we were playing on adrenaline the last day,” said Ashby. “But, you know, we only committed one error in those last two games. The kids really stepped up.”
They certainly did.
In the first game, the locals backed Bergeron’s pitching with a 14-hit attack that was highlighted by Deontai Premeaux’s three-hit effort. Andrew Ashby, Ben Broussard, Gabel Link and Bergeron each had two hits and Steven Cormier and Leblanc each had one.
Cormier’s lone hit was one of the biggest of the night, driving in two runs in the fourth inning to snap a 5-5 tie and give the locals the lead for good. Minutes earlier, Ashby helped the All-Stars erase a 5-4 deficit with an RBI double that score Primeaux. Later, Faulk singled in the fourth run of the inning to make it 8-5.
The locals added three more runs in each of the next two innings, while Bergeron and Lamm combined to hold Rayne (which entered the final day undefeated) to two runs.
“There were two defensive plays that were really huge in that game,” said Ashby. “In the third inning, with a runner at third, Zack (Lamm) ran down a ball in the gap and made an over-the-shoulder catch and in the fourth, they (Rayne) led off with a shot in the left-center gap that Luke Doucet caught over his shoulder. That last one took the wind out of their sails; you could see them deflate.”
In the second game, the All-Stars made quick work of Rayne, jumping out to a 3-0 lead and ending the game by the mercy rule in four innings.
LeBlanc gave up two hits and one run in the opening inning and then settled down to no-hit Rayne the rest of the way.
Offensively, three players had home runs for the winners: Andrew Ashby, Broussard and Cormier. Cormier had three hits on the night, including a double. Also picking up hits for the winners were Bergeron, Faulk and Lamm.