Millers upend Kaplan
CROWLEY – With four starters out due to prior commitments, the Crowley Millers were stretched thin Tuesday in their home contest against the Kaplan Cajuns.
But as the Cajuns found out the hard way, even with Taylor Doughty, Alex Ashby, Caleb Chaisson and Joey Scogin missing, the Millers are still tough to beat.
The locals banged out nine hits off three different pitchers and improved to 3-0 on the season with 7-1 victory over the visiting Cajuns.
“Our bench really stepped up tonight,” said Millers’ coach Chad Cradeur following the victory. “We put the ball in play, we kept pressure on them and we were aggressive and it paid off. We made them make mistakes and then we made them pay.”
Newcomer Mike Reed and veteran Connor Goss sparked the Millers’ victory by combining for six hits and five runs. Reed was 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Goss also had three hits, including two doubles and one RBI.
“Mike had some great at-bats tonight and he was huge for us,” said Cradeur of Reed who hit leadoff for the Millers. “He hasn’t started for us before tonight, but he came in and gave us a charge.
“And Connor is just Connor. We’ve got him up (to the plate) with runners on base in scoring position and he has come through in the clutch time and time again.”
Defensively, the Millers committed just one error behind starting pitcher Pate Broussard.
Broussard baffled the Cajuns for five innings and scattered four hits while allowing one run. He walked three and struck out eight.
“Between high school and summer league, this is the best that I’ve seen Pate pitch,” said Cradeur, who is also Crowley High’s pitching coach. “I think he’s getting stronger and he knows how to pitch now. He’s pitching with command with every pitch and he’s a battler.”
The Millers struck first in the bottom of the first inning when Reed logged a leadoff single to right field. He then stole second base, moved to third on a balk and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mackay Mouton.
Mouton gave the Millers a 2-0 advantage in the third inning after reaching base on an error and scoring on a double to right center field by Goss.
The Millers broke the game open in the fourth inning with four runs on five hits and one Kaplan error.
Reed ignited the outburst with a one-out single to left field. Jacob Morvant followed with a triple down the right field line before scoring himself on a double to left by Mouton.
An errant throw on a steal attempt allowed Mouton to cross the plate and Goss, who doubled, scored when Jon Riley Mouton beat out an infield single.
The Cajuns pushed across their lone run of the game in the top of fifth inning when Brady Mott singled and scored on a triple to right field by Slade Boullion.
The Millers added the final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Mackay Mouton walked, stole all the way around to third base and scored on a wild pitch.
Mackay Mouton took the mound in relief of Broussard in the fifth and set the side down in order. Andrew Janisse, the Millers’ closer, worked the final frame and struck out the side to end the game.
Lance LeBeouf suffered the loss for the Cajuns after allowing two runs on three hits and four walks in three innings of work. Judd Bertrand gave up four runs on five hits in one inning of relief work. Ben Landry took the mound in the sixth inning and surrendered one run on no hits and two walks.
Boullion paced the Cajuns with two hits while Mott and Scott Russo each had one.