Mustang All-Stars fall short in finals; Bronco Stars advance to championship game
CROWLEY – The Crowley Americans made a run at it, but a pair of fifth-inning errors and a wild pitch in the sixth proved costly for the locals in the championship game of the Mustang Central Region All-Star Tournament Monday evening.
The Americans, who defeated the Rayne Americans 13-8 in the first contest of the night to force the If Necessary Game, gave up two unearned runs in the fifth inning and then a wild pitch on an intentional walk one inning later allowed Caleb Comeaux to cross the plate, giving Rayne the tournament title with a 9-8 victory.
“We just kind of fell apart there at the end,” said Crowley coach Brant Lamm, whose team lost to Rayne 13-6 on Sunday in their second game of tournament. “We had a few errors that led to some unearned runs. If we make those plays, it could have been a different game.”
Still there were positives in defeat.
“It was good to see us battle like we did,” said Lamm. “On Sunday, we had a really bad game against them (Rayne) and they beat us pretty good. For us to come back and win the first game tonight, it really showed me a lot about our kids; they could have given up after the way we played them the first time, but they came back and played well.”
The Americans had a 7-5 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning in the title game, but back-to-back errors to start the frame enabled Comeaux and Will Arceneaux to reach base. Shannon Menard then delivered a clutch two-out single to right field to tie the game.
Crowley answered in the top of the sixth and regained the lead, 8-7, on a sacrifice fly by Luke Hoffpauir.
“We still had a chance,” said Lamm. “We took a lead in the top of the sixth, but we had to switch pitchers.”
Crowley’s top two arms, Zach Lamm and Gavin LeBlanc, were out of innings and Brant Lamm had to turn to Chris Schmid to throw the final frame.
Schmid gave up a leadoff single to Comeaux, who promptly stole second base. Following a strikeout, Lamm decided to intentionally walk Comeaux before Arceneaux came through with a run-scoring single to tie the game at 8-8. With runners at second and third, the Americans attempted to intentionally walk Hunter Miller, but the third pitch of the at-bat was high and got past the catcher, allowing Comeaux to score the winning run.
“Rayne is a really good hitting team and without our top two pitchers, I really didn’t know who to go to,” said Lamm. “We had to take the gamble on walking that good hitter (Comeaux) and we just couldn’t close the game out.”
Despite trailing for most of the contest, Rayne actually outhit the Americans by a wide margin.
Rayne finished the championship game with 11 hits while Crowley had just five.
Menard paced Rayne with a 2-for-2 performance that included a double and four RBI. Miller and Arceneaux each had two hits and an RBI as well. Karson Broussard singled and drove in two runs while Comeaux, who was walked intentionally twice, Lance Martin, William Vice and Kason Richard each had one hit.
Zach Lamm led Crowley with two hits, including a double, while Luke Hoffpauir had a double and two RBI.
Philip Hannon and Matt Menard had one hit and an RBI each and Schmid collected one RBI.
Rayne and Crowley will both advance to the Mustang Super Regional tournament in Erath beginning on Friday.
In the opener, the Americans scored six unanswered runs in the final three innings to defeat Rayne.
The locals posted seven runs in the top of the first inning courtesy of four hits, including a three-run home run from Luke Hoffpauir, to take what looked to be a commanding lead.
Rayne, however, answered back with four runs in the bottom of the frame and then added four more in the second to stake an 8-7 advantage.
Crowley regained the lead in the fourth inning by posting four more runs on four hits.
The Americans added a pair of runs in the fifth inning to secure the victory.
Zach Lamm took the mound for the Americans in the bottom of the second inning and worked 4 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the victory. He surrendered four hits and two walks while striking out four.
Lamm paced the Americans with a 3-for-4 performance that included a double and an RBI. Hoffpauir had a single and a home run and drove in three runs while Gavin LeBlanc added a double, a triple and a RBI. Andrew Mouton had a double and Matt Menard rounded out the offense with a single.
William Vice had three hits and one RBI for Rayne while Hunter Miller had a double and two RBI. Caleb Comeaux added a double and an RBI while Kasen Richard, Tucker Babineaux and Shannon Menard each had one hit.
WELSH – The Crowley Americans rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the fifth inning to earn a 5-4 victory over Welsh in the loser’s bracket finals of the Bronco All-Star Central Region Tournament Monday evening.
The Americans took on Church Point last night in the championship game. Results from that contest were not available at press time.
Jack Faulk hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to tie the game and Ben Broussard’s sacrifice fly in the sixth put the Americans over the top.
J.T. Kirsch had two hits for the locals while Broussard, Faulk, Sam Frank, Andrew Ashby and Christian Stafford each had one.
John William Lamm got the victory on the mound after allowing just one hit and striking out 13 in seven innings.