Gators top Notre Dame
CROWLEY – The Crowley Gators have come close numerous times, only to fail in their search for their first Junior Legion victory.
Thanks to some timely hits and solid pitching performances from Brennan Stelly and Mike Reed, the wait is finally over.
The Gators, a group of 14-year olds playing up against teams that are comprised of 15- and 16-year olds, broke open a tight game with eight runs in the top of the seventh inning in shocking Notre Dame, 12-6.
The Gatros jumped to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Alex Holston walked and later scored on a double from Luke Broussard.
However, Notre Dame responded in the bottom of the frame. Ross Holston drove in a run with a double. Back-to-back bases loaded walks to Jackson Landry and J.P. Miers put the Pios up 3-1.
The Gators cut the lead to one in the second inning when Nick Benoit was hit by a pitch before eventually scoring on a single to right field by Reed.
Stelly recovered from a sluggish start in the first inning, sitting the Pios down in order in the bottom of the frame.
Stelly’s offense rewarded him by plating two runs in the top of the third to give the Gators a 4-3 advantage.
Luke Broussard started things off with an infield single and then stole second base. Brennan Corzine followed with a single to right. With runners on first and third, the Pios attempted to throw out Corzine at second on a steal attempt, allowing Broussard to score. Corzine moved up to third on the throw back to the plate and he eventually scored on Nick Benoit’s ground out to shortstop.
Reed took the mound for the Gators in the third inning and worked three scoreless frames before giving up one run in the sixth.
Notre Dame’s Charlie Mayeaux reached base on an error before eventually scoring on a passed ball to tie the game at 4-4.
But then the Pios ran into control problems in the final inning and the Gators made them pay for it.
After striking out the first batter of the inning, Robert Walton walked Cole Meche and gave up a bunt single to Mike Reed. Alex Holston then drove in the first run of the frame. Billy Wartelle followed with a walk and Stelly doubled to drive in two more runs.
Landry entered in relief of Walton and walked three batters in a row before giving way to Jessie Smith, who gave up one run on one hit and a walk before getting out of the inning.
Overall, the Gators scored eight runs on four hits and six walks in the inning.
Notre Dame rallied for two runs on three hits in the bottom of the seventh before Reed got Ross Holston to ground out to second base to end the game.
Broussard and Reed paced the Gators with two hits and one RBI each. Stelly logged two RBI on a double; Corzine, Meche and Alex Holston each singled in a run and Evan Cart had one hit.
Ross Holston and Philip Artall each had one hit and one RBI for the Pios while Miers, Nick Gossen, Charlie Mayeaux, Matt Reed and Paul Hebert each had one hit.