Northside Christian set for semifinal showdown with Georgetown
Northside Christian’s Christian Morgan drives a pitch to left field during the Warriors’ 10-0 Class C quarterfinal victory over Reeves last week. Morgan and the Warriors will be in action this evening when they take on Georgetown at 7 p.m. in a semifinal contest on Field 37 at Sulphur’s McMurry Park.
CROWLEY – The 2014 Northside Christian Warriors have already had one of the best baseball seasons in the school’s history.
For starters, they’ve put together one of the school’s best records (22-5) and, in addition, they earned the school’s first ever No. 1 seed entering the state playoffs - in any sport.
Then there is this: tonight at 7 o’clock, the Warriors will be playing in their very first state semifinal, that when they take on the Georgetown Bulldogs (15-10) at Sulphur’s McMurry Park.
That’s a pretty impressive resume’ for sure.
But the Warriors are far from satisfied with what they have done so far and they are hoping to add chapters to their story-book season this week.
“We’re very happy to be there (state tournament) but we would love to go all the way and get to play Saturday, too,” NCS coach Lane Marceaux said this week as his team prepared for tonight’s game. “If you don’t win the first one, you don’t get to play the second one; so we’re taking it one game at a time.”
In the Bulldogs, the Warriors will be taking on a scrappy team that rallied past Elizabeth, 4-3, in nine innings in quarterfinal-round action on Saturday.
Tonight’s semifinal contest will be the first ever between the No. 5 seeded Bulldogs (15-10), who knocked off St. Joseph’s in the first round, 9-3, and the Warriors.
“We’re kind of in uncharted territory because we have never played them (Georgetown),” said Marceaux. “But they are a good team. When you get this far, there’s a reason they are in the semifinals, so we know that we have to come out and play our game.”
One thing Marceaux does know is that the Bulldogs possess some power in their lineup, especially when it comes to leadoff hitter Caleb Lasyone. In their victory over Elizabeth, the junior catcher hit a solo home run in the seventh inning and he then hit a two-run shot in the ninth to win the game. Chase Swope, a sophomore third baseman, also had a home run in the seventh inning.
“They have some pretty good hitters, especially at the top of the lineup,” said Marceaux. “We will have to pitch smart when those guys are at the plate because they can hurt you.”
The Warriors will counter with junior pitcher Bradley Ancelet, who threw a three-hit shutout at Reeves in the quarterfinals.
“We going with Bradley and we have Joseph (Trahan) and Jordan (Monte) if we need them,” said Marceaux of his pitching situation. “Bradley does a good job and our defense has been playing well behind him. With Brad on the mound, he always gives us a chance to win; we just have to keep the errors to a minimum.”
Marceaux says he is unsure of whom the Bulldogs will send to the mound tonight. But he is expecting to see Jace Sauce, a senior, who pitched all nine innings against Elizabeth and gave up just one earned run.
“He (Sauce) works the zone and does a really good job of keeping you off balance,” said Marceaux. “We just have to go up there and try to attack him. If we can hit like we did last game, I think we’ll be okay.”
The Warriors logged 14 hits against Reeves with Ancelet and Trahan collecting three hits each. Monte, Christian Morgan and Dylan King each had two hits while Bryce Gatte and Dillon Hayes each had one.
“We have really been getting production from throughout the lineup lately,” said Marceaux. “And it’s not always the top of the order. That has been exciting to see because from top to bottom, they find a way to get on base.
“We had a couple of good practices this week and the boys are focused. They are excited and they are ready.”