(Kirk Meche / American Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:14 PM
SULPHUR — Kale Breaux outdueled Ponchatoula counterpart Landyn Ragan and Caleb Murrell delivered the winning sacrifice fly in Sulphur’s 2-1 win over Ponchatoula Tuesday night in a Class 5A bi-district playoff game.
The Tors (23-11) advanced to play at Ruston, a 10-0 winner over Northshore, in the regional round.
Murrell hit a fly ball to right field with one out in the bottom of the seventh to score Logan Louviere with the winning run. Louviere was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ethan Hyatt. Jacob Sharp was intentionally walked. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch before Murrell drove a pitch to deep right field to score Louviere.
“I was a little nervous,” Murrell said. “I just went back to the fundamentals, stayed down on the ball, stayed through it and just hit it somewhere to make them make a play. That’s what I did and it turned out great for us. It was a total team effort all the way.”
Murrell was down 0-2 in the count before fighting back.
“I can’t say enough about Murrell; that was a gutsy at-bat,” said Sulphur head coach Jason Trahan. “He is down 0-2, fouls some pitches off and gets the fly ball to win it.”
Breaux showed some guts early, holding the Green Wave (22-9) to one run after they loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the first. Shayne Narro led off with a double and scored on a sac fly by Tyler Robinson.
After allowing the double, hitting a batter and walking another to start the game, Breaux retired the next 15 batters.
“To get one run, that is all we can ask for,” Trahan said. “That was big, getting out of that inning and weathering the storm. Once that was over, he settled in. He started hitting his spots. When he has his breaker over and starts spotting his fastball, he is tough to hit.”
Ragan was as well, holding Sulphur to three hits. The Tors scored in the bottom of the fifth when Sharp walked and scored on a single by Bayne Smith.
Ragan struck out five and walked two.
“He has been a bulldog all year. He has been our guy all year, especially in the second half,” said Ponchatoula head coach Mark Gosnail. “He battled again today. We had our chances. A couple of times (the sixth and seventh innings) we had the leadoff guy on and couldn’t get a bunt down. That ends up being the difference, not being able to move a guy over and maybe get a hit. We couldn’t get the lead or the momentum back on our side.”