Pony Americans top Jennings to reach title game
CROWLEY – Things weren’t looking particularly good for the Crowley Pony All-Star Americans after one inning of the Pony All-Star Super Regional Tournament Sunday at the Crowley Recreation Department.
The Americans trailed 5-0 after giving up five hits and five runs in the opening frame.
Fortunately, things got better, not worse.
The Crowley team rallied for four runs in the top of the second and then went on to outscore Jennings 7-2 in the final two innings to claim an 11-7 victory and stay undefeated in the double-elimination tournament to determine Louisiana’s representative in Zone action next week in Texas.
The win propelled the Americans into Tuesday's championship game that is slated for 6 o’clock.
“I was really pleased with the way we fought back after giving up five runs in the first inning,” said Crowley coach Timmy Robichaux of his team, which had lost to Jennings twice earlier in tuneup tournaments.
The Americans scored two runs in the second inning and had runners at second and third with one out when the rain started and delayed the game for well over an hour.
When play resumed, the Americans added two more runs to cut the lead to 5-4.
“I’ve seen rain delays before where it affects the pitchers,” said Robichaux. “Typically one guy gets hurt by it and the other guy gets helped by it. I was just hoping it was going to be us that got helped by it.”
As it turned out, neither starting pitcher seemed to be affected.
Jennings hurler Kaleb Chaisson and Crowley ’s Joe Faulk each gave up just one hit over the next three innings.
Fortunately, the Americans were able to get to Chaisson in the sixth inning.
Pate Broussard started the rally when he was hit by a pitch. Shea Zaunbrecher followed with a run-scoring double to left center field to tie the game at 5-5.
Taylor Faulk then reached base on an infield single and Luke Ancelet reached on a fielder’s choice. Bradley Ancelet drove in Zaunbrecher with a single to left before Faulk and Luke Ancelet each scored on wild pitches.
Alex Ashby added the final run of the inning, plating Bradley Ancelet on a sacrifice fly that gave the locals a 9-5 advantage.
“They just found a way to get on base,” said Robichaux of his team’s big sixth inning. “We knew we were going to be facing a really good pitcher today. We told them to look early in the count, try to have a good at bat, put the ball in play and let whatever happens happen….you know, force them to make plays. And they did that.”
Jennings answered in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two runs on two errors, a walk and one hit to cut the lead to 9-7.
The Americans responded by adding two runs of their own in the top of the seventh inning.
Broussard drew a walk to start the frame and then scored on Taylor Faulk’s double to left field. Faulk crossed the plate two batters later when Bradley Ancelet grounded out to second base.
The Americans closed out the game in the bottom of the seventh with a groundout, a flyout and a strikeout.
“We had a few errors in the sixth inning,” said Robichaux. “We just got a little panicky right there and kind of hurt ourselves.”
Joe Faulk earned the victory, giving up seven runs on seven hit and four walks. He struck out eight in seven innings.
It was Faulk’s second victory in three days. He struck out 14 in five innings Friday in an 11-1 victory over Rayne.
“Joe threw a great game,” said Robichaux. “He picked up some quick outs in some of the earlier innings and that’s what helped him have a little gas left in the seventh inning.”
Zaunbrecher paced Crowley ’s nine-hit attack with a 2-for-3 performance that included a double and three RBI. Bradley Ancelet and Taylor Faulk also had two hits each. Ancelet had two RBI while Faulk had a double and one RBI.
Alex Ashby added a single and a RBI while Broussard and Joe Faulk each had one hit.
Ethan Smith and Cameron Pollard each had two hits for Jennings . Lachausse added a double and two RBI while Chaisson and Keagan Richard each logged one hit.
Jennings fell into the loser’s bracket finals that was played last night. A victory would put them in tonight’s championship game against the Americans.
“This was a big win for us,” said Robichaux. “It’s gives us a day off and it puts us in a great position. We just have to keep our head and come out Tuesday ready to play because whoever we get, they are going to give us a fight.”
SUPER REGIONAL BRACKET
Wednesday, July 20
Game 1 Jennings 15, CAYSI 0
Game 2 CSA 9, Erath 5
Friday, July 22
Game 3 St. Mary 5, Crowley Nationals 3
Game 4 Crowley Americans 11, Rayne 1
Saturday, July 23
Game 5 Erath 7, CAYSI 2
Game 6 Jennings 14, CSA 4
Game 7 Rayne 10, Crowley Nationals 9
Game 8 Crowley Americans 12, St. Mary 4
Sunday, July 24
Game 9 Rayne 6, CSA 4
Game 10 St. Mary 9, Erath 7
Game 11 Crowley Americans 11, Jennings 7
Monday, July 25
Game 12 Rayne vs. St. Mary 6 p.m.
Game 13 Jennings vs. Winner 12 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 26
Game 14 Crowley Americans vs. Winner 13 6 p.m.
Game 15 If Necessary 8 p.m.