Pioneers continue hot streak; Crowley falls to Church Point
CROWLEY – The Notre Dame Pioneers clinched the District 5-AAA title Tuesday with a 15-4 five-inning rout of Rayne.
The title is Notre Dame’s seventh straight, dating back to 2003. The Pios are currently 18-6 on the season and 6-0 in district play with two league games remaining. There is a three-way logjam for second place between Crowley, Church Point and Rayne, all of which have three losses.
Notre Dame wasted little time getting started Tuesday, chasing Rayne hurler Dakota Broussard from the mound in the first inning. Broussard faced five batters, hitting three and walking two before leaving the game. Austin Meche entered in relief and was greeted by Connor Goss, who drove a 3-1 fastball over the left field wall for a grand slam.
The Pios led 8-1 after the third inning before exploding for seven more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Leonards started the frame with a solo home run to left and then drove in the final run on a single later in the inning.
Leonards also picked up the victory on the mound, giving up four runs on four hits and six walks in four and a third innings. He struck out five.
All four of Rayne’s runs crossed the plate in the top of the fifth courtesy of a grand slam from Tyler Venable.
Leonards, Goss, Mitch Corzine and Austin Robichaux each had two hits for the Pios and Bryant Gilbert had one.
The Pios will be the visiting team tonight when they take on Crowley at Miller Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6 o’clock.
The news was not as good Tuesday for the Crowley Gents, who were fighting to secure second place in the league standings.
For the second time this season, the Church Point Bears upended the Gents, coming from behind to claim a 5-4 victory in front of their home crowd.
Crowley (8-14-1, 3-3) led for most of the contest, taking a 4-3 advantage into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Seth Thibodeaux changed that with one swing of the bat in the sixth following a one-out double by Broc Bellard. Thibodeaux drove a 2-0 offering from Justin Desselle over the left center field wall to give the Bears a 5-4 advantage.
Tanner Carreon entered in relief of starting pitcher Derek Dailey in the seventh inning and surrendered a leadoff walk to Tyler Dupuis before Jake Trahan’s sacrifice bunt sent the runner to second base. A groundout to the mound by Chad Hoffpauir put the tying run at third base but Carreon struck out the next batter to secure the victory.
Crowley took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run single from Desselle before Church Point cut the advantage in half in the bottom of the frame when Garrett Doucet reached base and scored on errors.
Corde McCall walked in the second inning and scored on an error to give the Gents a 3-1 lead.
Church Point answered in the bottom of the inning when Carreon scored on a bases-loaded walk.
Each team plated a single run in the third.
Desselle suffered the loss, giving up five runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks in six innings of work. He struck out five.
Dailey earned the victory, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and seven walks. He struck out three. Carreon was credited with the save.
Desselle was also Crowley’s leading hitter, going 2-for-2 with a home run and a two-run single. Hoffpauir had a double and Dupuis singled.
Elliot Wingate had two hits for the Bears while Thibodeaux had a home run and two RBI. Bellard also doubled in the contest.
Crowley hosts Notre Dame tonight at 6 o’clock before rounding out the district slate Tuesday at Northwest.
Church Point travels to St. Louis Saturday and wraps up league play Tuesday at Notre Dame.