The Barbe Bucs won their seventh state championship after they beat Live Oak for the Class 5A title Saturday at McMurry Park. (Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 10:43 AM
SULPHUR — On a weekend when Southwest Louisiana became the state’s kingdom for high school baseball, Barbe sits on the throne.
They were crowned so Saturday when catcher Bryce Jordan made a sliding catch to end the season.
With that grab, Barbe beat Live Oak 7-1 to capture its second Class 5A title in three years and seventh overall.
“There is no other way it could have ended,” said senior shortstop Kennon Fontenot. “It was a fairy-tale ending.”
Barbe’s was the third state championship won by a team from Southwest Louisiana on the day, joining Kinder in 2A and Fairview in Class B.
But the stars of the seven-title event at McMurry Park were clearly the Bucs.
Ranked No. 1 in the state from the opening practice, the Bucs simply did what each and every one of them expected to do — finish the job.
“No other way it could have ended,” said senior Gunner Leger.
It was a fitting goodbye as Barbe’s senior class went out with a bang.
This group of graduates had not only a four-year run to be proud of, but one that dated to when they were playing and winning games together, making it all the way to the Little League World Series in 2008.
“The guys have been my brothers since we were kids,” said Leger. “We have sweated together, bled together, won together and lost together.”
The ace of the staff went on to say the championship was both a happy and sad moment, for it was at the end of an era.
“It is bitter sweet,” Leger said. “We have been through so much together. It could not have ended any other way.”
The Bucs left no doubt how the run of this group would end. And they were able to do this close to home, in Sulphur, on the field of their biggest rival.
Friday and Saturday was a sort of showcase in the best of Barbe baseball.
The Bucs showed they could beat you in so many different ways.
You want pitching? The Bucs gave up one run in the final two games.
You want power? Beau Jordan and Shane Selman each hit home runs.
You want speed? Beau Jordan stole home for the Bucs’ first run of the game.
You want clutch hitting? Bryce Jordan provided it with a two-out run-scoring single in the fourth and Leger did the same in the sixth.
You want defense? Second baseman Braden Comeaux turned a nifty double play in the top of the sixth to end Live Oak’s last hope.
You want a state championship? The Bucs are your team.
You want a national championship? Well, that is always up for debate.
I’m not sure what the No. 1 high school baseball in the nation looks like. It is impossible to compare kids who never play each other.
I will leave that fight for others.
But I do know what the best team in Louisiana looks like and it was on display Friday and yesterday in Sulphur.
“I think we are national champs,” Leger said. “It is great to win that with this group.”
Really, there was no other ending for this team or senior class.
“This is a very special group,” Fontenot said. “To go out on top, with these guys means everything.
“It could not have ended any better.”
Nope, not for Barbe.
This year ends right where it began, with Barbe sitting on the state’s baseball throne.
With this group, it is a good fit.
Jim Gazzolo is managing sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org