Iowa's Roberts tosses 3-hit shutout at Crowley
IOWA – The Crowley Gents have been on a roller coaster ride throughout the first half of the 2012 prep baseball season.
They have hit high points and they have seen low ones as well.
The Gents’ performance on the road against district foe Iowa Wednesday, however, was probably the lowest.
The Gents (6-11, 1-3) struggled at the plate throughout the contest and logged just three hits, two in the final inning, in a 7-0 loss to the Yellow Jackets.
“Right now, the only thing consistent about our game is inconsistency,” said CHS coach Christian Doughty, whose team was coming off an impressive 7-0 victory over Westlake earlier in the week. “We came out and looked so good against Westlake, who threw a good arm at us, and we hit the baseball. Tonight, we couldn’t hit anything.”
Iowa hurler Gabe Roberts had a lot to do with Crowley’s offensive struggles. He limited the Gents to three hits and struck out 10, five looking, on the night.
“Not to take anything away from Roberts, he’s a good pitcher,” said Doughty. “But you can’t have five strikeouts looking and 10 overall. You can’t win baseball games like that.”
Pate Broussard did his best to keep the Gents in the game by limiting Iowa’s potent offense to just three runs in the first five innings. He only surrendered three hits before the final frame but he struggled with control at times, walking five, two of whom scored.
“Pate by no means had his best stuff tonight,” said Doughty. “He struggled with his control but yet going into the sixth inning, it’s only 3-0. It was still within reach.
“He gave us a chance just like he’s done every time he’s pitched this year but we were just so bad offensively. We had four failed drag bunt attempts and we just couldn’t do anything to get on base.”
An error in the first inning enabled Iowa to push across it’s first run before the Yellow Jackets added a run in each of the following two innings on two hits and four walks.
The Yellow Jackets’ offense gave Roberts some insurance in the bottom of the sixth when they plated four runs on five hits and one walk. Roberts helped his own cause with a two-run single in the frame while Tanner Buller and Garett Dartez each had a run-scoring single.
Mackie Stagg broke up Roberts’ no-hit bid in the fifth inning when he beat out a chopper to third base.
Mackay Mouton had the Gents’ second hit of the night to lead off the top of the seventh inning when he hit a grounder in the hole at short that Iowa couldn’t make a play on. Kaleb Istre had the only other hit with a pinch hit single to right field later in the inning.
“One of the few bright spots on the night was Kaleb coming up with that hit in the seventh,” said Doughty. “He struggled a bit early in the year and that’s why he hasn’t been hitting as of late. But he’s worked real hard at practice, he’s taken a lot of cuts and I was real happy for him to have that opportunity and make the most of it.”
The Gents will step out of district play on Saturday when they travel to Church Point to take on the Bears at 1 p.m.
“This is a huge game for us,” said Doughty of Saturday’s matchup with the Bears. “Every win is a must right now if we have any hopes of making the playoffs.”