Northside Christian Warriors top Ebarb to advance to quarterfinals
CROWLEY – A misplayed fly ball in the third inning allowed Northside Christian to break open a tight game and eventually roll past Ebarb, 6-1, Saturday in a Class C regional playoff contest at Miller Stadium.
The Warrirors will now travel to West Monroe on Friday to take on Claiborne Christian. Game time is 4 p.m.
“We caught a break in the third inning,” said NCS coach Lane Marceaux. “The wind just kept blowing and I guess their outfielder just never saw the ball and that kind of opened the gates right there.”
With one out and a runner at first in a 1-1 ballgame, Northside’s Joseph Trahan lifted a high fly ball to right field in the third inning. Ebarb’s right fielder never saw the ball and came racing in toward second base. The ball fell in mid-right field for a double to give the Warriors runners at second and third.
One batter later, Ebarb hurler Hunter Curtis fired a pitch that got past his catcher, allowing both runners to cross the plate.
The Warriors added to their lead in the fifth inning when Curtis walked the bases loaded with two outs. NCS center fielder Shea Bertrand then delivered the big blow, a single to right field, to plate two more runs. Jon-Riley Mouton, who was hit by a pitch, then scored on another wild pitch to give the Warriors a 6-1 cushion.
Trahan, who pitched all seven innings for the Warrirors, gave up a two-out double to Jarred Brandon in the sixth inning but got out of the inning unscathed by striking out John Townson to end the frame. He then sat the Rebels down in order in the seventh on three straight groundouts.
“Joseph did a wonderful job today,” said Marceaux of Trahan, who scattered four hits and struck out seven. “We just told him to challenge their hitters and that’s what he did. With a pitcher like Joseph, you just have to challenge people and come with a curve every now and then. And his curve was working today.”
Trahan also aided his cause at the plate. The sophomore had two hits, including a double and an RBI. He flew out to deep center field in the sixth inning and he was intentionally walked in the seventh.
Bertand also had two hits on the day. He tripled in the fifth and had a two-run single in the sixth.
“You know, we only had five hits, but we had some big ones,” said Marceaux. “Shea had a great day; he is our most improved player from last year and he is really swinging the bat well right now.”
Jordan Monte had the Warriors’ only other hit on the day. He also reached base on an error and scored a run in the first inning.
For the Warriors, it is their fourth straight year advancing to the quarterfinals. However, they have not gotten past the third round during their run.
“It seems like we’ve had a hard time in getting to that next level,” said Marceaux. “This will also be the first time in three years that we’ve traveled for a quarterfinal game so maybe that might change our luck.”