Gents slip past Church Point in extra innings
CROWLEY – Nothing has come easily for the Crowley Gents this spring.
The Gents have fought adversity all season long and Tuesday’s District 4-AAA contest against Church Point at Miller Stadium was no different.
The Gents withstood a 4-run first inning from the visitors and then rallied from a 2-run deficit in the seventh before slipping away with a 10-9 extra inning victory that moved them within a game of the .500 mark overall (7-8) and evened their league record at 2-2.
“This was just a huge momentum boost for us because we really needed this win badly,” said CHS coach Christian Doughty following the victory. “We fought and struggled to get to seven wins and for us to be 7-8 and 2-2 in district right now, that’s huge.”
The Gents’ resilience was never more evident than in the seventh inning when they trailed by two, 9-7, with two outs.
With Taylor Doughty on first base following an error in right field, Brody Deshotel hit a chopper to third for what appeared to be the third and final out of the game.
But an errant throw to second base in an attempt to get the lead runner gave the Gents some new life.
Steven Bertrand then followed with another grounder to third base and an errant throw to first allowed Doughty to score.
Then, with runners at first and third, designated hitter Jude Cradeur delivered a single to right field to tie the game.
“It was huge, with two outs, to just put the ball in play and let things happen,” said Doughty. “Sure enough, we get a few ground balls, get some runners on base and put together a couple of runs to extend the game.”
Church Point (7-13, 1-3) had just one error prior to the fateful seventh inning.
“We just couldn’t make the routine plays routine tonight,” said Church Point coach Jared LeBlanc. “We haven’t played good defense all year. We’ve handicapped ourselves defensively all year long. We had the guy on the mound that we wanted. We’re just not doing a very good job of protecting our pitchers and we’re not making the routine plays. Nerves or no nerves, you’ve got to be able to make those plays.”
The error bug continued one inning later when Mickey Morgan hit a chopper to first base and the throw from the first baseman to the pitcher covering the bag was mishandled.
Two batters later, freshman Mackay Mouton singled to center to give the Gents runners at first and third base.
Philip Artall ended the game with a screamer past the first baseman for a walkoff RBI single.
Mouton was credited with the victory after setting the Bears down in order in the top of the eighth inning. He got Brody Latiolas to fly out, Brett Thibodeaux to ground out and then struck out Jake Morvant looking to end the frame.
Blake Thibodeaux didn’t factor in the decision despite throwing seven strong innings. He entered in relief of Taylor Dought in the first inning and limited Church Point to five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks. He struck out six.
“The pitching hasn’t been outstanding (all year) but we managed to stay in the ballgame tonight,” said coach Doughty. “Blake came in and gave us some long innings and that really helped us.
“And Mackay Mouton, as a freshman, has really been a bright spot for us all year. He’s come in in some big situations and thrown strikes for us. He’s gotten the curveball over and just really helped us.”
Mouton was also a factor at the plate. He logged three of the Gents’ 15 hits. Steven Bertand had two hits, including a double and three RBI and Artall singled, tripled and drove in one.
Doughty had two hits, including a triple and an RBI; Cradeur had two singles and one RBI; Morgan singled twice; Brody Deshotel tripled and drove in two and Andre Mills doubled.
“We ran the bases really poorly tonight and we’ve got to get better at that. But as far as swinging the bats, we did a good job of that tonight,” said Doughty. “We hit the ball all throughout the lineup so that was definitely a positive.”
Church Point also swung the bats well, racking up 11 hits in the eight-inning slugfest.
“I was pleased with the way we swung it up until the sixth (inning),” said LeBlanc. “Then we started kind of airing it out. After that, we kind of lost focus at the plate.
“They outswung us at the end. Their at bats in the seventh and eighth inning were better than ours. We didn’t match their intensity.”
Brett Thibodeaux and TJ Lyons paced the Bears offensively with three hits, including a double, and two RBI each.
Chance Roy went 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI while Jake Morvant, Todd LeJeune and Cullen Leger each had one hit. LeJeune’s hit was a double and Leger also had one RBI.
The Gents return to action today when they travel to Westlake to take on the Rams at 6 p.m.
Church Point will be at home entertaining Iowa.