Broncos-Welsh baseball

Welsh catcher Austyn Benoit loses the ball while applying a bare-hand tag on the Broncos' Kyle Bartley during a rundown between home plate and third base Friday at Sam Houston High School.

MOSS BLUFF — Sam Houston, the top-ranked team in Class 5A, pushed its win streak to 17 games with a big first inning to beat Welsh 7-0 Friday on the second day of the SPOT Classic.

The Broncos’ (17-0) strike-first mentality paid off as they scored six runs in the bottom of the first. The Broncos have scored four or more runs in the first inning in each of their last four games.

“That is what we talk about with our games — to be the first team that strikes,” Sam Houston head coach Chad Hebert. “That is what we have been doing all year.

“We have been putting up runs early and it has allowed our defense and pitchers to pitch ahead. It is a big thing in baseball, obviously.”

Senior Silas Ardoin started the scoring with the first of two doubles in the game that brought home Braden Duhon. Mason Stutes added a two-run double to left field. Stutes was the Broncos’ top hitter, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

Sam Houston’s next two runs came on an error and Marcus Mott scored on a single to left field by Brandon Goodeaux.

The Broncos beat a top-10 team for the fourth time in five games. Welsh (8-5) is ranked No. 2 in Class 2A. Sam Houston beat Class 4A No. 8 West Ouachita 11-0 on Thursday, Class 5A No. 4 New Iberia 10-3 on Tuesday and Class 5A No. 2 Zachary 5-4 on Saturday.

Welsh, which has played up in class in 11 of its 13 games and its sixth 5A team, looked like it would strike first when Macey Hicks hit a lead-off single up the middle and Austyn Benoit reached base with a one-out single to the right side. But Sam Houston catcher Silas Ardoin threw Benoit out at second and Samuel Hoffpauir grounded out to end the threat.

“That is one of the better 2A teams that you will see in the state this year, to be honest,” Hebert said. “That program has the opportunity, in my mind, to be a football and baseball state champion.”

Alec Iguess hit a lead-off double in the top of the third and moved to third base on a ground out, but was left stranded.

While the Greyhounds had their chances early, Sam Houston pitcher Tanner Trammel (4-0) recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts in his second complete game and lowered his earned-run average to 0.31.

“He didn’t pitch a lot last year, but he has been patient with it,” Hebert said. “He got his opportunities and made the most of it.”

After giving up six runs in the first inning — three earned — Welsh junior pitcher Dylan Degeyter allowed one more run.

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