Pony Americans edge Jennings in winner's bracket finals

CROWLEY – Typically, when Crowley and Jennings square off in All-Star action, runs are normally hard to come by.

Thus was the case Tuesday evening in the winner’s bracket finals of the 2012 Super Regional Pony All-Star Tournament at Pony Park.

Crowley was able to take advantage of two walks and one hit, an RBI single by Sam Hoffpauir, in the first inning and slip away with a 2-0 victory over their rivals.

The victory sent the locals into last night’s championship game while Jennings had to defeat Mamou in the first game of the night to force a rematch with Crowley.

“We pretty much expected a game like this,” said Crowley coach Timmy Robichaux following the contest. “It was what we thought it would be. We are just glad we are on the winning end.”

Hoffpauir’s single in the first inning was the lone hit of the game as Crowley’s Joe Faulk and Jennings’ Keegan Richard and Kaleb Chaisson combined to strike out 30 batters on the night.

Faulk tossed a no-hitter in earning the victory. He walked two and finished with 13 strikeouts.

Richard got the start for Jennings and gave up both of Crowley’s runs on one hit and two walks. He struck out three before giving way to Chaisson, who logged 14 strikeouts, in the second frame.

“The pitchers did an unbelievable job tonight on both sides,” said Robichaux. “Luckily, we were able to push across a couple of runs in the first inning because they didn’t start Chaisson. Once he came in, it was tough to even put a ball in play.

“We did a good job of scoring a couple (runs) right there and in the end, it proved to be the winning runs.”

For Faulk, it was his second no-hitter of the tournament after blanking SATS in the opener.

“Joe was on from start to finish,” said Robichaux of Faulk’s performance. “He worked ahead in the count for the most part and he located his pitches.

“It all comes back to him. The pitching is what did it for us tonight. The few times they did put the ball in play, we made plays behind him and we didn’t let anything get started.”

Crowley gave Faulk all the run support he needed in the first inning when Pate Broussard and John-Riley Mouton were each issued walks to start the game. Pate eventually scored on a wild pitch before Mouton crossed the plate on Hoffpauir’s single to left field.

“We got people on early in the first inning and that’s what you have to do,” said Robichaux. “You have to score right away. If we don’t take advantage of that opportunity, we could be playing for a week out here with those two guys pitching.”

Crowley is the lone undefeated team left in the regional and would have to lose twice to be eliminated.

The winner of the tournament will advance to the Pony Zone Tournament in Burleson, Texas beginning on Aug. 3.

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