Heavy rains and tough losses hit Southwest Louisiana baseball teams on Friday.
In the Class 5A state tournament in New Orleans, Sulphur lost 4-2 to Catholic-Baton Rouge and West Monroe beat Barbe 13-4.
With so many rain/lightning delays in New Orleans, officials moved Sam Houston's game against Brother Martin to 1 p.m. Saturday. The game was originally set for 7 p.m. Friday.
In the Class 2A tournament in Monroe, Evangel Christian beat Kinder 1-0 in a semifinal game. In the Class C tourney in Sulphur, Claiborne Christian topped Elizabeth 6-3 in nine innings.
NEW ORLEANS — The rain eventually stopped. West Monroe’s offense didn’t.
The Rebels scored a dozen runs over the first three innings.
West Monroe (24-12) advanced to face Catholic-Baton Rouge in the semifinals.
The Rebels made it rain hits before the actual wet stuff started, batting around and scoring six runs before the game was halted with two outs and a man on first in the top of the first.
Dustin Mitchell, Hunter Williams, Hayden Dixon and Nick Schexnaider each drove in a run and Zach Ainsworth drove in two with a two-out single that chased Barbe starter Sloan Dieter, who threw a one-hitter Monday in Barbe’s regional-round win over Covington.
The onslaught continued after the 5-hour, 36-minute rain delay, as Tanner Neal singled to score Ainsworth to make he score 7-0.
Barbe (33-4) scored twice in the bottom of the inning, with Dieter reaching after being hit by a pitch and Shane Selman reaching on an infield single and scoring on a Victor Negron single.
But the Bucs left the bases loaded and West Monroe kept scoring in the second inning. Williams led off with a single and scored on a double down the right-field line by Dixon to make the score 8-2.
The Rebels stretched the lead to 12-2 in the third, with Williams hitting a two-run double and Nick Schexnaider a run-scoring single. Tanner Noel scored on an error.
Barbe staved off the mercy rule with a run in the bottom of the fifth.
“They were the better team,” said Barbe head coach Glenn Cecchini. “If West Monroe plays like that, they will go on and win the state championship. They were unbelievable. They crushed the ball.”
NEW ORLEANS — Catholic’s big inning was a bit larger than Sulphur’s.
The Bears broke open a scoreless game with four runs in the sixth inning and held on for a 4-2 win over the Tors in a Class 5A quarterfinal.
Nick Coomes led off the inning with a double. Jordan Romero was then hit by a pitch.
Corey Free then drilled a double off the right field wall to score both runners. Later in the inning, pinch hitter Austin Sulik singled to center to score Austin Devillier, who reached on a fielder’s choice, and Conner Whalen who had reached on an error.
“They swing the bats too good, especially at the top of the order,” said Tors head coach Jason Trahan. "I knew eventually they would scratch a few, I just wanted to weather the storm. The storm got rough there in the sixth. We missed a ground ball with two outs, that changed the game for us in the sixth. We needed to get more hits.”
In the bottom of the inning, Bayne Smith led off with a single for Sulphur (24-12) and moved to third on a one-out double to left-center by Brooks Morse. Kale Breaux singled to score Smith, cutting the lead to 4-1. Breaux advanced to second on a wild pitch and Lavergne singled to left to score Morse, cutting the deficit to 4-2.
Logan Louviere drilled a ball up the middle, but Catholic reliever Paul Roppolo snagged the line drive and threw to first for the inning-ending double play.
“That may go through for a single and we’re right back with what we want,” Trahan said. “The guy just made a good play on a line drive. It was unfortunate for us.”
Sulphur was making its first appearance in the state tournament since 2005.
“I don’t know how many people thought we would be here, except for us,” Trahan said. “Just for them to do that is tremendous success. (The seniors) set a new standard for Sulphur baseball, a foundation for what we can do in the future.”
Sam Houston’s Class 5A state tournament debut was delayed a day, with the Broncos’ quarterfinal game against Brother Martin postponed from Friday to Saturday due to rain.
The game, originally scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, was moved back to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Broncos head coach Brad Book said the delay will not be a bother.
“The kids were excited, but we are prepared for things like this, things get moved around,” he said.
The Zachary-St. Amant semifinal, originally scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, was moved to 10 a.m. Saturday.
Kinder’s underdog story ended as the No. 15 Yellow Jackets fell lost to No. 3 Evangel Christian in the Class 2A semifinals at ULM’s Warhawk Field.
The Yellow Jackets (22-12) and the Eagles (21-10) battled for 4 1/2 scoreless innings before Evangel finally put the game’s only run on the board in the bottom of the fifth.
Evangel right fielder John Michael Boswell hit a one-out single to right field. The Eagles brought in Michael Johnson to pinch run.
Johnson stole second and during the play, the catcher’s throw went into centerfield. Johnson came all the way around to score after the throw to the plate missed its mark.
“It’s like I told the kids, it wasn’t the big things. It was the little things that put us behind 1-0,” said Kinder coach Kenney Courville.
The Yellow Jackets stranded eight runners on bases, four of them in scoring position.
SULPHUR — Some gambles don’t pay off. What does is a good backup plan.
Claiborne Christian head coach Chad Olinde had risked his season with a bold move to start, but he knew he had a backup.
Zach Osbon and it almost got us,” said Claiborne Christian head coach Chad Olinde. “But we kept fighting and Zach is a monster.”
Osbon was that backup plan.
Keeping the ace hurler off the mound to start put the Crusaders behind, but Osbon came in with the bases loaded in the second and stopped Elizabeth cold.
The rest of the Crusaders rallied to score three runs late and three more in the eighth to win 6-3, advancing to the Class C title game against Family Christian.
“Yes, it was three hits over seven innings, striking out 15. I just wanted to come in and throw strikes,” Osbon said.
Now he will not likely pitch when the Crusaders (12-18) play the title game at noon today at McMurry Park.
Catholic-Baton Rouge 4, Sulphur 2
West Monroe 13, Barbe 4
No. 10 Zachary (25-11) vs. No. 18 St. Amant (26-9), 10 a.m.
No. 3 Brother Martin (30-5) vs. No. 6 Sam Houston (25-9), 1 p.m.
No. 21 Catholic-Baton Rouge (24-13) vs. No. 9 West Monroe (24-12), 4 p.m.
Zachary-St. Amant winner vs. Brother Martin-Sam Houston winner, 7 p.m.
Semifinal winners, TBA
St. Thomas More 4, Teurlings Catholic 3
Lutcher 4, Tioga 1
No. 1 St. Thomas More (29-4) vs. No. 2 Lutcher (28-4), 4 p.m. (Field 41)
Parkview Baptist 11, North DeSoto 0
E.D. White 4, Brusly 0
No. 5 Parkview Baptist (19-17) vs. No. 2 E.D. White (28-4), 1 p.m. (Field 41)
University 12, Calvary Baptist 1, 5 innings
Evangel Christian 1, Kinder 0, 7 innings
No. 3 Evangel Christian (21-10) vs. No. 4 University (29-6), 1 p.m.
Central Catholic 8, Ouachita Christian 7
Mangham 4, St. John 2
No. 5 Central Catholic (24-7) vs. No. 2 Mangham (27-8), 4 p.m.
Hicks 3, Simpson 2
Forest 6, Hornbeck 2
No. 12 Hicks (23-8) vs. No. 2 Forest (25-8), 3 p.m. (Field 40)
Family Christian 10, Maurepas 0, 5 innings
Claiborne Christian 6, Elizabeth 3, 9 innings
No. 1 Family Christian (25-4) vs. No. 3 Claiborne Christian (12-18), noon (Field 40)