Northside Christian advances to Class C quarterfinals

CROWLEY – Since joining the Louisiana High School Athletic Association eight years ago, Northside Christian has been a familiar name when it has come to postseason baseball pairings in Class C.

Yet, during that time, they had not won a first-round game.

All that changed Wednesday.

The No. 4 seed Warriors (17-5) logged just one hit, but took advantage of six errors to cruise to a 5-0 Class C regional playoff victory over the visiting Reeves’ Raiders at Miller Stadium.

The victory, Northside’s 16th in their last 18 games, sends the Warriors to the quarterfinal round where they will host Family Christian on Monday.

“This is a good win for us,” said NCS coach Lane Marceaux, whose team was eliminated in the first round last year by Reeves. “We knew they would be good and we’d have to play really well.”

The Warriors were nearly perfect on defense, committing just one error while turning a key double play in the second inning to thwart a possible scoring threat by Reeves.

Reeves was not nearly as steady in the field - the Raiders’ six errors led to all five of Northside’s runs.

Pierce Rivera scored the Warriors’ first run after reaching base on an error in the bottom of the third inning. A sacrifice bunt by seventh grader Bradley Ancelet moved Rivera to second before back-to-back walks to Grant Williams and Jeremy Marceaux loaded the bases.

Josh Wheeler then plated Rivera on a groundout to first base before Williams scored on Reeves’ second error of the inning.

Tim Monte reached base on another error in the fourth inning and scored on a bases-loaded squeeze bunt by Ancelet. The bunt single was Northside’s only hit off Reeves’ hurler Aaron Breaux.

“Bradley is a good bunter and we knew we had to take a chance,” said Marceaux of the bunt. “We weren’t hitting real well and in that type of game, you have to take advantage of the opportunities you get.”

Northside plated its final two runs in the sixth inning. Cameron Williams and Rivera were issued walks and both scored on a two-out error.

“We have been swinging the bat good lately, but their pitcher today was really good,” said Marceaux. “He kept us off balance. We didn’t strike out that much though. We put the ball in play and forced them to make the plays and that’s what we’ve been trying to do.”

Breaux suffered the loss despite giving up just one hit. He walked six and struck out six in six innings.

Jeremy Marceaux picked up the victory, limiting the Raiders to just two hits. He struck out six and walked six.

Northside’s quarterfinal matchup with Family Christian will be the second meeting between the two teams this season. The Warriors won the first, 5-2, on April 6 in Baton Rouge.

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