Millers cruise past Seminoles in American Legion opener
CROWLEY – So much for being rusty.
Pitchers Caleb Chaisson and Mackay Mouton, who hadn’t pitched since their high school seasons ended over four weeks ago, combined for a no-hit shutout and the Crowley Millers’ offense provided more than enough support to lead the locals to a 10-0 victory over the Opelousas Seminoles Thursday.
The game was the season and district opener for both teams.
“For them to come out like they did was great,” said first-year Millers’ coach Chad Cradeur. “We weren’t sharp at first, but they got stronger as the game went on.”
Chaisson got the start for the Millers and pitched a solid four innings. He walked two, hit two batters and struck out five.
Mouton pitched the final frame and allowed just one runner on an error. He struck out two.
“That’s going to be our strong point this year: our pitching. I was very proud of the way they pitched tonight. They competed and they got after it.”
Offensively, the Millers pushed across three early runs before exploding for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to end the game by virtue of the mercy rule.
“This ball club is so fundamentally sound,” said Cradeur. “We can bunt, we can hit, we can drive in runs ... all around they are very sound. I was very pleased with our approach at the plate tonight.”
The Millers manufactured each of their first two runs by mixing in their speed and their ability to lay down a bunt.
LSU-Shreveport product Taylor Doughty got the Millers going in the first inning when he was hit by a pitch and then promptly stole second base. Alex Ashby followed with a sacrifice bunt to push Doughty to third before Mackay Mouton plated the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Doughty then led off the third inning with an infield single and, again, he stole second base. Another sacrifice bunt by Ashby moved Doughty to third and Mouton delivered again with an RBI single to center field.
The Millers added to their lead in the fourth inning when Jon Riley Mouton reached base on an error and scored on a single to right field by Connor Goss.
The Millers closed out the game in the bottom of the fifth by pushing across seven runs on four hits and five Opelousas walks.
Iota’s Mike Reed, pinch hitting for Ashby, started the frame with a single to left field before Mackay Mouton and Chaisson each drew walks. Reed eventually scored on a wild pitch before Church Point’s Tony Doucet came through with an RBI pinch hit single to center field.
Back-to-back walks to pinch hitter Bubba Daigle and Pate Broussard allowed another run to cross the plate before Reed drove in two runs with his second hit of the inning, a single to left field. Mackay Mouton put the finishing touches on the game with an RBI double to right center field for the 10th and final run.
Mackay Mouton and Reed led the Millers at the plate with two hits each. Mouton collected three RBI on the day and Reed had two.
Doucet and Goss each had one hit and an RBI while Doughty and Jon Riley Mouton each had a single.
“All the way around, all 17 guys are capable of giving us playing time,” said Cradeur of his squad. “They are all capable of going in there and getting a big hit when we need it or laying down a bunt when we need it. These guys coming off the bench tonight and stepping up when we needed it was great. We’re going to need that down the stretch.”