Missed opportunities prove costly for Gents
CROWLEY – For the first two innings Wednesday, everything pointed to smooth sailing for the Crowley Gents in their summer league contest against Westminster at Miller Stadium.
The Gents banged out five hits and scored four runs in the first two innings to take what seemed to be a commanding 4-1 advantage over the visiting Crusaders.
But then everything went south.
Over the final five innings, the Gents committed three errors, walked four batters and stranded nine runners, enabling the Crusaders to rally for 5-4 victory.
“We just couldn’t get it done when it mattered,” said CHS coach Chad Cradeur following the loss, the Gents’ second of the summer. “We didn’t make the routine plays when we had the chances and, at the plate, we just couldn’t come up with that timely hit.”
The Gents got on the board in the bottom of the first inning thanks to three hits, including an RBI double by Kaleb Istre, and one Westminster error.
The locals then added two more runs in the second inning. One scored on an RBI double to right field by Luke Ancelet and the other occurred when Christian Breaux crossed the plate on Westminster’s second error of the game.
That, however, was the extent of the Gents’ offense.
“I think we got back on our heels after the second inning,” said Cradeur. “We jumped on them early and then we just died out. We just seemed satisfied with the runs we got early on and we really didn’t make anything happen after that.”
The Gents fell behind 5-4 after the fourth inning but had their chances in the final three innings.
Mackay Mouton doubled to left field to start the fifth inning before back-to-back walks to Kaleb Istre and Pate Broussard loaded the bases for the Gents.
The Crusaders were able to get out of the inning unscathed, however, after a grounder to third base resulted in Mouton getting gunned down at the plate. A failed attempt on a squeeze bunt attempt resulted in Istre getting tagged out at the plate for the second out before a strikeout ended the inning with no runs crossing the plate.
Then in the sixth inning, the Gents loaded the bases again, this time with two outs.
Christian Breaux drew a walk to start the inning and Mouton logged a two out single. Istre drew another walk to extend the inning but once again, the Crusaders got out of the possible jam with a strikeout.
Back-to-back walks to Bubba Daigle and Austin Duhon to start the seventh inning gave the Gents a glimmer of hope.
But back-to-back strikeouts and a flyout followed, enabling the Crusaders to slip away with the one-run victory.
“We stranded runners the entire game,” said Cradeur. “What it really came down to was execution. We failed to execute bunts and we weren’t able to put enough pressure on them. Our game is stealing and bunting and we just couldn’t get it done tonight.”
Defensively, the Gents’ misfortunes actually started in the second inning with a one-out error that gave the Crusaders runners at second and third base. Another error followed with two outs that led to Westminster’s first run of the game.
The Crusaders added three more runs in the third inning on three hits and one costly error in the outfield.
The eventual winning run crossed the plate an inning later, thanks in part to two more Crowley miscues.
“We started off playing well and then later in the game, we just played bad baseball,” said Cradeur. “I think we just kind of folded in the pressure situations.”
Jon Riley Mouton, who started the game on the mound for the Gents, suffered the loss after giving up five runs, three earned, on four hits and two walks. He struck out seven in four innings of work.
Ben Broussard took over in the fifth and pitched three scoreless innings. He held thee Crusaders hitless while walking three and striking out five.
Offensively, the Gents had eight hits on the night. Ancelet and Mackay Mouton led the charge with three hits and one RBI each. Istre added a double and an RBI while Duhon had a single.