Eunice Oilers top Crowley Millers once again

CROWLEY – To little too late was the story for the Crowley Millers Thursday evening at Miller Stadium.

The Millers (2-2) rallied for four runs in the sixth inning but it wasn’t enough as they dropped an 8-6 decision to the Eunice Oilers.

The loss dropped the Millers to third place in District 7-East behind Eunice (7-1) and the St. Landry Bank Indians (4-1).

“We just gave them too many opportunities tonight,” said Millers’ coach Timmy Robichaux, whose squad trailed just 4-2 after four innings of play. “We were only two runs down but we just found a way to give them opportunity after opportunity. We didn’t make them earn everything that they got and that’s what is frustrating.”

The Millers extended innings during the loss courtesy of errors and walks, both of which has been a problem for the locals in all four of their games thus far.

Two miscues in the first inning led to an unearned run while another error in the fourth provided Eunice with another run.

In all, the Millers committed three errors while their pitchers gave up six free passes on the night.

“You know, we allowed the leadoff runner to get on in the first inning because of an error and then we get another ground ball for a double play and we messed that up,” said Robichaux. “That leads to high pitch counts and extended innings. You won’t beat a quality opponent playing that way.”

The Millers also struggled at the plate, logging just three hits in the first five innings while leaving four runners stranded. They also had two runners picked off to thwart potential rallies.

Luke Bourgeois led off the game with a double but was left stranded after two strikeouts and a ground out.

Paiton McBride singled in a run in the second inning but was picked off at first base for the third out and then with runners at first and third base in the following frame, Bourgeois got picked off at first to end the inning.

The Millers had another opportunity in the fifth inning with runners at the corners but the threat ended with a strikeout.

“We had some base running mistakes that hurt us and we stranded some runners,” said Robichaux. “But ultimately, it comes back to the pitching and defense. We really haven’t been getting a lot of good pitching and our defense has been bad. When you have to count on getting in there bang out a bunch of hits and score a bunch of runs, it’s going to be a long day.”

Crowley gave up three runs in the top of the sixth inning and fell behind 7-2 before rallying themselves in the bottom of the frame.

Brian Broussard sparked the rally with a leadoff triple to right center field before McBride drew a one-out walk. Justin Marcantel then singled to right to plate Broussard and Taylor Doughty tripled to the left center field gap to plate two more runs. Doughty then scored on a ground out to second base by Bourgeois to cut the lead to 7-6.

Eunice added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Brody Olivier reached base on an infield hit and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dillon Brown.

“We pulled back within one but we just have to come back out that inning and get ourselves back in the dugout without letting them score,” said Robichaux. “We had a couple of walks right there in that inning and again, that’s more free stuff. Every time you give somebody free stuff and extend the inning, put people in scoring position, good things aren’t going to happen.”

Crowley was unable to respond in the bottom of the seventh as Eunice reliever Kourt Deshotel sat the Millers down in order on three ground outs.

Eunice starter Nick Richard picked up the victory, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks. He struck out five in five innings of work.

In all, Crowley managed six hits on the night.

Doughty led the way with two hits, including a triple and two RBI. Broussard tripled and drove in one run, Bourgeois had a double and an RBI and McBride and Marcantel each had one hit.

Eunice, on the other hand, had little trouble at the plate. The Oilers pounded out 12 hits off three Miller pitchers.

Trent Vidrine led the Oilers’ offensive charge with three hits while Brody Olivier, Tyler Fontenot and Drake Fruge each had two hits. Brown, Matt Bari and Josh Patin rounded out the attach with one hit each.

“We haven’t been swinging that bat real well and I’m really disappointed in the way we have played Eunice both times this summer,” said Robichaux. “Like I told the kids, it has got to be a pride thing and it has to affect you. You’ve got to want to win. You’ve got to want to make the play and you’ve got to want to get up there and hit. I just see that they (Eunice) wanted it worse than we did, both games.”

Although the Millers are sitting one game back of the league leaders, there are still eight district games remaining and Robichaux is not ready to count his squad out just yet.

“We just have to put this one behind us,” said Robichaux. “With rescheduled games and people still having to make up games, a lot of things can happen. There’s still a long way to go but if we want to figure in at the end of it, we have got to put the wheels back on the car and get going again in the right direction.”

The Millers will play host to the Opelousas Seminoles Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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