Millers remain unbeaten in regional

By Chris Quebedeaux

SPORTS EDITOR

LAKE CHARLES – Heading into the American Legion Southwest Sub-Regional Tournament, the Crowley Millers knew they already had a state tournament berth sewn up as the host team.

For many teams, that would have led to complacency in the Sub-Regional.

But not for the Millers. They haven’t been satisfied with the automatic bid and that has shown in their first three contests.

After topping the Opelousas Seminoles in their tournament opener, the Millers rolled to a 13-8 victory over pre-tournament favorite Delhomme Saturday and then posted a 13-0 seven-inning victory over Eunice Sunday to remain unbeaten heading into Monday’s game against Teurlings.

Monday’s game results were not available at press time.

Regardless of the outcome, the Millers (24-1) will play in the championship game Tuesday at 7 o’clock.

A victory over Teurlings means that the Millers would have to be beaten twice in the finals.

“We are having a very good year,” said Millers’ coach Timmy Robichaux following Sunday’s victory. “These kids come out and battle at the plate; we have a very good pitching staff and we play solid defense. I think that’s been the key for us. Having a quality pitching staff and playing good defense, that’s what you have to do everyday to have a chance to win.”

The Millers have made just three errors in their three tournament games and their pitching staff has allowed just nine runs while striking out 28 in 25 innings.

Austin Robichaux picked up the victory over Delhomme, giving up six runs on five hits and five walks. He struck out nine.

Justin Desselle logged the victory over Eunice, tossing a three-hit shutout at the Oilers while striking out nine.

The Millers have also been productive at the plate, scoring 36 runs on 34 hits, including four home runs.

Ryan Leonards, Matt Savoie and Blaine Richard each homered in Sunday’s victory while Savoie hit a tape-measure homer against Delhomme Saturday.

“We are starting to drive the ball a little bit,” said Robichaux. “That comes from trying to stay on top of the ball. It’s a proven fact that hard ground balls turn into line drives which turn into home runs. We have been doing a better job on not trying to lift the ball and not getting above the ball. When you do that, good things are going to happen.”

Beau Desselle is leading the team in the three-game stretch with seven hits and three RBI while Savoie is 6-for-10 with two homers, two doubles and eight RBI. Ryan Leonards follows with five hits, including a double, a home run and three RBI while Blaine Richard has five hits with a home run and three RBI.

Also collecting hits for the Millers are Tyler Dupuis, Justin Desselle, Mitch Corzine, Jake Trahan and Frem Reggie - with two hits - each and Austin Robichaux with a triple.

“The thing that I am the happiest about is that our guys are not just taking this tournament for granted,” said Robichaux, whose squad will be the host team for the state tournament that begins on July 24 at Miller Stadium. “They are using these games the right way to get ready to compete and play in state. They are coming out here to compete and win games.”

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