Notre Dame cruises past Crowley for 4-3A title

CROWLEY – There was no controversial ending this time.

Instead the Notre Dame Pios jumped out to an early lead against cross-town rival Crowley High, pounded out 12 hits and rolled to a surprisingly easy 14-1 victory over the Gents Thursday in clinching another District 4-3A championship.

The game, halted after five innings due to the mercy rule, was a total contrast to the first played between the two teams just a week earlier in which the Pios rallied for a controversial 7-6 victory.

“The biggest thing was that we put the ball in play tonight,” said Notre Dame coach Timmy Robichaux, whose squad improved to 15-13 and finished league play at 8-2. “You have to put the ball in play to give yourselves a chance, make the defense have to throw you out. That was pretty much what helped us in today’s game.”

The Gents aided in the Pios’ victory with a number of key errors that led to runs.

In the first inning, Notre Dame’s Nick Gossen drew a walk and scored the first run of the game courtesy of a Crowley miscue.

The Pios added five more runs in the third inning on five hits, including a two-run triple by Connor Goss and RBI singles from Brennan Corzine and Clint Faul.

“We made an error in the first inning that led to the very first run,” said CHS coach Christian Doughty, whose team fell to 11-14 overall and 4-6 in league play. “They scored their first two runs without a single hit. That kind of set the tone right there. “

Notre Dame added a single run in the fourth on Dillan Gilbert’s RBI single to take a 7-0 advantage.

Crowley responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame when Brody Deshotel singled and scored on Luke Ancelet’s single down the right field line to cut the lead to 7-1.

But that was as close as the Gents would get.

“We just played bad and got beat; that’s the bottom line,” said Doughty. “They came out ready to play and we apparently didn’t. They hit the ball well tonight, took advantage of several of our mistakes and we were out of the game before it ever got going.”

The Pios put the game away in the top of the fifth inning when they scored seven runs on four hits, four walks and one CHS error. Goss drove in a pair of runs on a double while Alex Holson also had two RBI on a single. Jeff Michael Daigle plated a run on a single and two other Pios crossed the plate on an error in the outfield.

“We had quite a few people step up at the plate today,” said Robichaux. “I think everybody contributed tonight and that was the biggest thing.

“It felt good to finally score runs in bunches. We’re just not a real great offensive team, but with good pitching and good defense, we can still match up with anybody. We just have to get timely hits along the way and that’s what we got tonight.”

Goss led the Pios’ offensive attack with a 2-for-4 performance that include a double, a triple and four RBI. Gilbert had two hits and one RBI and Hogan Guidry recorded two singles. Holston drove in two runs on one hit while Daigle, Corzine and Faul each had an RBI single. Matt Venable added a double and Nick Gossen had a single.

Gossen also handled the pitching duties for the Pios, giving up one run on seven hits. He struck out five in five innings of work.

Taylor Doughty, who suffered the loss for the Gents after giving up six runs on four hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings, had two hits for the home team. Luke Ancelet also had two hits and drove in the Gents’ lone run of the game. Deshotel, Bradley Ancelet and Nathan Richard each had a single on the night.

“We’ve had ups and downs when you look at our record,” said Robichaux. “But what we try and make our guys understand is that your record doesn’t mean anything, especially from here on out. It doesn’t really matter who is great, it just matters who is better that day. So we just have to go to work now, work really hard and start preparing for the playoffs.”

Notre Dame will play it’s final regular season game at home on Monday against St. Louis at 6 p.m.. The Gents will also be in action when they travel to Opelousas to take on Opelousas Catholic at 4:30 p.m.

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