Sam Houston claims share of district title with Tors

<p>Sam Houston catcher Silas Ardoin applies the tag for the out on Sulphur ‘s Jake Barrilleaux during Monday’s District 3-5A game in Moss Bluff.</p>RickHickmanPhotographer

<p class="indent">MOSS BLUFF — In the new Moss Bluff math, five plus six equals victory.

<p class="indent">The six would be No. 6, closer Marcus Mott, who is asked to shut the door on opponents after the starting pitcher goes five innings. The formula worked perfectly Monday as the Broncos beat Sulphur 5-1 in the District 3-5A finale. As a result, the teams each earn a share of the district title. The winner of this afternoon’s Barbe-Acadiana game will also earn a share of the title.

<p class="indent">Broncos (28-5, 9-5) head coach Chad Hebert was more concerned with seeing his team continue to build momentum than earning another piece of hardware.

<p class="indent">“It is all about seeding, but it is great to be back-to-back district champs and get a share of it this year,” he said. “The kids really wanted it, but the main goal is to win a district championship and get into the top four seeds.”

<p class="indent">Starter Kyle Bartley held up his end of Hebert’s recipe, holding Sulphur (24-9, 9-5) to a single run over five innings of work. He allowed eight runners over the first four innings, but produced the big outs to escape major damage.

<p class="indent">“I thought he did a good job of pitching around himself,” Hebert said. “He struggled a little early, then found it and gave us what we need. Our formula is ‘go five, give it to No. 6.’ Mott has 10 saves, he has been lights out. I doubt if anyone else has a true closer in high school. He has the mentality of a closer and is big time. He has not failed. He is a bulldog.”

<p class="indent">Unlike the Tors, the Broncos were able to seize their scoring opportunities, scoring a pair of runs in the second inning on a fielder’s choice grounder by Hunter Gotreaux to score courtesy runner Keagon Aaron and a two-out RBI single by Brock Dennis.

<p class="indent">The Broncos added three runs in the fifth, taking advantage of three Sulphur errors, including one on a grounder by Mott that allowed two runs to score. The third run also scored on a misplayed grounder.

<p class="indent">Brandon Goodeaux went 3-for-3 with a run scored to lead the Broncos. Josh Barrilleaux had a pair of hits, including a double, to lead the Tors.

<p class="indent">The Broncos opened the season with 21 straight wins, then lost of five of nine during the meat of the district schedule before finishing with three straight wins. “We played really well early and it was easy, almost like we knew we were going to go out there and win,” he said. “We faced some adversity, dropping a few games here and there, but they responded, beating Comeaux, Barbe and Sulphur. They are getting into the groove right in time for the playoffs.”

<p class="indent">The Broncos entered the week as the second seed in Class 5A. The Tors were seventh. The top four seeds are home through the first three rounds of the playoffs.