Seventh inning rally lifts Gents past Knights
CROWLEY – The breaks have been few and far between for the Crowley Gents’ baseball team this spring.
But on Tuesday, the ball finally bounced their way.
Facing a two-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Gents logged two infield hits, took advantage of a crucial South Beauregard error and then were the recipients of a bases-loaded walk that produced the winning run in a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Knights at Miller Stadium.
The victory sent the Gents to 8-11 on the season and 2-3 in District 4-3A play.
“One of the main things that we have talked about all year is putting the ball in play and good things will happen,” said CHS coach Christian Doughty. “There are times it doesn’t seem like that but, finally, we got a break.”
Jon Riley Mouton started the rally in the seventh when he beat out a grounder to shortstop with one out. South Beauregard starting pitcher Nick Lee then hit Luke Ancelet and Alex LeBouef followed that with a single to right to drive in Mouton and cut the lead to 3-2.
That brought an end to Nick Lee’s night on the mound. The Knights then brought in ace Nathan Lee to close out the game.
Fortunately for the Gents, the game was far from over.
Crowley’s Mackay Mouton followed with a chopper to second base that looked to be a game-ending double-play ball. However, Pryce Fontenot’s relay to second base was wide and sailed all the way to fence down the third base line, allowing Ancelet to score the tying run.
With runners at the corners, South Beauregard elected to intentionally walk Alex Ashby to load the bases and set up a force play at any bag.
The move backfired though when Lee walked Mickey Morgan to bring home the winning run.
Until the seventh inning, Nick Lee had limited the Gents to just one run and three hits.
“Their first pitcher really gave us trouble through the first time through the lineup,” said Doughty of Lee, who had five strikeouts in the first three innings. “He was really mowing us down in the first few innings, but after that, we made some adjustments and were able to put the ball in play. We kept swinging and I thought we did a good job of just competing up there.”
Pate Broussard earned the victory for the Gents after surrendering three runs on seven hits and four walks. He struck out four in seven innings.
“Pate pitched a heck of a ballgame,” said Doughty. “In all the games that he has pitched, he’s done what he had to do to at least make it competitive for us. And he did the same thing tonight. Just continuing to get up there and toe it up, throwing a lot of pitches on the inner half of the plate; he’s a competitor.”
Crowley’s defense, despite committing three errors on the night, also came up big. The Gents turned two double plays to thwart potential big innings for the Knights.
A grounder to Ben Broussard in the second inning with two runners on resulted in the first double play. The second occurred in the top of the seventh when Mackay Mouton fielded a ball in the hole behind second base and flipped to Jon Riley Mouton, who made a bare handed grab and fired to first base to complete the double play.
“We had a few miscues tonight, but what I was proud of was that we didn’t fold when we made the mistakes,” said Doughty. “We had two big double plays that really helped us out. And Jon Riley made an unbelievable play when he bare handed that double-play ball up the middle.”
Morgan paced the Gents with a double and two RBI and LeBouef had a single and an RBI. Mackay Mouton added a double while Ancelet and Jon Riley Mouton each had a single.
Nathan Lee, Nick Lee and Fontenot each had two hits for the Knights while Fonenot had one and Hunter Monceaux picked up an RBI.
“I was really proud of the guys for battling and never giving up,” said Doughty. “ Down 3-1 going into your last at bat, a lot of people would have folded the tent. For us to keep plugging away like we did, I was really happy about that.”
The Gents will return to action this afternoon when they travel to Jennings to start the second round of district play. First pitch for that contest is slated for 6 p.m.
District 4-3A Standings
Crowley @ Jennings
Iowa @ South Beauregard
Westlake @ Jennings