E.D. White slips past No. 2 Pioneers

LAFAYETTE – Notre Dame scored two early runs and then coasted along until the sixth inning Monday against the E.D. White Cardinals at UL-Lafayette’s Tigue More Field.

Then it happened.

No. 3-ranked E.D. White, held in check to that time by Austin Robichaux and the Pios, rallied for three runs in the sixth inning and then held on through the seventh for a dramatic 4-3 come-from-behind victory .

The loss sent the Pios to 22-4, while the Cardinals improved to 23-4 with the victory.

“The main thing is we scored early and then kind of sat around a little bit until it was time to get back up and swing again,” said Notre Dame coach Timmy Robichaux, whose squad had four hits in the first two innings but only one in the following three frames.

E.D. White struggled offensively for much of the early innings as well, scoring one run in the fourth inning while stranding a runner in scoring position in four of the first five frames.

“We left four guys at second base with two outs from the second through the fifth but we kept thinking we were going to get the big hit because we weren’t striking out,” said E.D. White coach Shane Trosclair. “We weren’t real patient early on, but we settled in and were able to string some big hits together.”

Charlie Bourgeois got the Cardinals going in the sixth with a leadoff double. After a line out to right by Heath Thiel, Dakota Gravois was hit by a pitch and both runners moved up on a passed ball.

Austin Lebeouf followed with a single to right that plated Bourgeois to tie the game at 2-2. Adam Foret then drove a pitch to the right field corner to plate two more runs.

Notre Dame rallied in the bottom of the sixth when Paiton McBride led off the inning with a double to the left field corner. Pete Petitjean then hit a line drive that looked as if it would have gone through the hole between third base and shortstop, but the ball hit the umpire in the infield.

Petitjean was safe at first, but McBride had to return to second on the dead ball.

Mitch Corzine then laid down a sacrifice bunt that was misplayed, allowing McBride to score.

With runners at first and third base, the Pios attempted to bunt but the next two batters failed to execute resulting in a strikeout and a flyout. A groundout to shortstop ended the rally leaving two runners stranded.

“We had our chances, we just couldn’t execute the bunt to get the run in,” said Robichaux. “You just have to find a way to win the game. We had a chance to tie it and get back in it and we just couldn’t execute to do it.”

Ryan Leonards was issued a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh but was erased on a double-play off the bat of Connor Goss to end the game.

“This is what it’s about,” said Robichaux. “You’re going to face good pitching and you’re going to have to get up there and execute to win games. We just didn’t get it done tonight.”

Notre Dame logged three hits in the first inning and one in the second before E.D. While hurler Heath Thiel took over. The hard-throwing southpaw limited the Pios to just three hits after the second frame.

“That guy (Thiel) has been lights out for us this year,” said Trosclair of Thiel who improved to 7-0 with the victory. “He’s the guy I’m going to give the ball to when it comes down to it because he’ll throw strikes. He definitely gave us a chance to win today. That was the best he’s thrown all year.”

Leonards and McBride were the only Pios to log multiple hits off Thiel. Leonards had two doubles and one RBI while McBride was 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI.

Austin Robichaux had a double and Petitjean and Ricky Stoma both finished with a single each.

Junior hurler Austin Robichaux suffered the loss, giving up all four runs on seven hits and four walks. He struck out seven in seven innings.

Bourgeois paced the Cardinals with a single and a double while Foret doubled and drove in two runs. Gravois and Lebeouf each singled and had one RBI and Aaron Falgoust and Philip Lyons each had one hit.

“This was a good game for us,” said Trosclair. “I knew they had just about everybody coming back from last year’s semifinal team. I wanted my guys to know what it takes to get there (to the state tournament) because we haven’t been there in a while.

“It worked out. It was No. 2 vs. No. 3, a playoff type atmosphere heading into the final stretch of district. This was a game we both needed and both teams got better. We’re just excited to be able to walk away with a victory.”

The Pios will return to District 5-AAA action Thursday when they play host to Rayne at 6 o’clock.

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