Pony Americans top Rayne in Super Regional tournament opener

CROWLEY – Having not played a game in over three weeks, Crowley Americans coach Timmy Robichaux expected his team to be a little sluggish heading into Friday’s Pony Super Regional Tournament opener against Rayne.

And offensively, he was as his squad struggled a bit early on.

Luckily, the pitching performance turned in by Joe Faulk was more than enough to give the Americans time to get going.

Faulk dominated Rayne for five innings, striking out 14 batters while surrendering just one hit and one unearned run in the Americans’ 11-1 mercy rule victory.

The victory sent the Americans to a winner’s bracket contest against St. Mary yesterday afternoon. Results of that contest were not available at press time.

“Joe really did a good job out there for us tonight,” said Robichaux. “We knew we would be a little rusty because we hadn’t played in a while and I really only had intentions of throwing him three innings. But I wasn’t comfortable where we were out so we kept him in there.”

After three innings, Faulk had given up just one hit and had eight strikeouts to his credit.

But at that point, Crowley’s potentially potent offense had recorded just six hits, two of which were bunt singles, and plated just four runs.

After Faulk struck out the side for the third time in a row in the fourth inning, Crowley’s offense came to life.

The Americans added two runs in the fourth and two in the fifth before plating three runs in the sixth to end the game.

In all, the Americans logged 12 hits off Rayne hurler Dustin Dupuis.

“As the game went on, our swings got better and that was a good sign,” said Robichaux. “I think next game we will swing the bat better. Again, we just have to knock the rust off.”

Kaleb Istre paced the Americans with two doubles and three RBI while Pete Brown had two hits, including a double and a RBI.

Faulk and Alex Ashby also had two hits each, including a double. Shea Zaunbrecher one hit and three RBI, Bradley Ancelet and Pate Broussard each singled in a run and Luke Ancelet rounded out the offensive attack with a triple.

Rayne was limited to just three hits on the night.

Dupuis was 2-for-3 with a double and Gannon Quebodeaux had a double.

In the opening game of the night, St. Mary rallied from an early two-run deficit to upend the Crowley Nationals, 5-3.

Crowley took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Hunter Meche drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

St. Mary answered in the bottom of the frame when Grant Perry walked and scored on an error in the outfield.

Crowley starting pitcher Ben Broussard held St. Mary in check for the following two innings, limiting them to just one hit before giving way to John Marceaux.

The Nationals regained the lead in the top of the third inning when Meche singled and scored on Ben Broussard’s single to center. Broussard eventually scored on a throwing error by the pitcher to give Crowley a 3-1 advantage.

Unfortunately, the lead did not last long.

St. Mary rallied when Daniel Gray reached base on another error in the outfield and scored on an infield hit by John Hebert.

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